FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 9, 2019
202-408-0061 x 1017
The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Condemns “Mental Health” Chants at Gun Violence Vigil
Washington, DC — Recent reports show individuals at a vigil for the STEM School shooting in Highlands Ranch, Colorado walking out of Wednesday’s event. Individuals appeared to be chanting: “Mental health!”
Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Media Director Andrew Patrick issued the following statement:
“Chanting, “Mental health!” at a vigil — presumably as a solution to gun violence — is offensive and wrong. This chant stigmatizes those with mental illness, mischaracterizes the role of mental illness in gun violence, and does nothing to prevent future acts of gun violence.
“We must push back on the false narrative — perpetuated by the gun lobby — that mental illness is the root cause of gun violence. We know that mental illness is not a significant risk factor for interpersonal violence and only four percent of interpersonal violence is attributable to mental illness alone. The common factor in acts of gun violence is not mental illness; it’s easy access to lethal weapons.
“May is Mental Health Month. This month and every month, we must correct misinformation about gun violence and mental illness. We have an obligation to advocate for both victims of gun violence and those living with mental illness by pursuing and disseminating the truth.”