Correcting Dan Rather

"We cannot eliminate a mental illness, but we can diminish it to deter mass gun violence”, said Dan Rather.

Dan Rather said other horrendous things that were printed in the paper as well. They were quotes from a talk he gave recently.

Below is my letter to the editor of the paper that published the 1/2 page Dan Rather article. It appears that the paper is not going to publish my submission – so I will. Please feel free to use all or some of it in your work, disseminate it; let’s spread truth far and wide.

To the editor:

“Rather Talks Mental Health, Homelessness” (12/26/15) makes numerous excellent points about practical resources and supports – such as housing and jobs – that allow people with mental health conditions to live successfully in the community.

Unfortunately, Dan Rather made erroneous comments about a presumed connection between mass gun violence and mental illness; and the Gondolier published this false information, which further propagates the myth.

For the facts, read an article by Congressman Paul Tonko (NY-20), “Why Equating Mental Illness With Violence Harms Us All,” in which he correctly states that “study after study has shown that there is no connection between those with mental illness and violence.” Similarly, an extensive new study published in the American Journal of Public Health by two Vanderbilt University researchers “challenges common assumptions about gun violence and mental illness that often emerge in the aftermath of mass shootings.”

Blaming an already marginalized group of people unjustly reinforces the widespread prejudice and discrimination faced by people with mental health diagnoses. This uninformed, fear-based, knee-jerk reaction to tragedies that can be traced directly to the lack of sensible gun control legislation. Such false preconceptions contribute to community exclusion and create barriers for people trying to work toward recovery.

As you plan future community dialogues, I strongly urge that people with lived experience of mental health conditions be on the panel. There are many of us, locally and nationally, who would be pleased to deepen the conversation.

Submitted by:

Lauren Spiro

Former Director, National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery

3 responses

  1. Bravo for your comments on Rather’s article. Glad you got it out. It’s easy to understand why it was not printed in the paper along side Rather’s article. The police, military, and corporations (like Big Phara and the medical profession) need distractions from their violence. Scapegoats provide this distraction.

    Too bad they do not report on the recent studies of Paxil use in teens increasing violence.
    Any of those mass shooters on this med or something similar?

  2. I am a Schizophrenic. Have been since Birth. I hear thing and see thing that others do not. I forget things easily and have troubles keeping things in order. I have a oversize heart. No not physically, Emotionally. I care about everyone’s feeling to the point of abuse of myself. One part is what to call myself, as to help adjust to the world around myself. This is called labeling, which is very bad for all like myself. I cry over hurting anything or anyone. Guns is one thing I would never buy. So passing a law that says I can not buy a gun is wasting mine and your time.
    I tell you this, for the fact that you label everyone with Mental Health problem When you talk as if we are not there or have a voice. Just because I do not have Cancer or any other sickness that you can rap your heart around does not mean you can use all the troubles of the world on our backs. Some of the brightest minds of our time, have or had Mental Health problems.
    Problem starts when you say, what one does is crazy. Odd for you yes but not crazy. Nor is mental Health Crazy. Mental Health is is a condition of the mind of people that has high emotion.
    Gun control is not the problem for us. Seams when Goverment can not stop or prevent someone or a group for killing others in a mass way, they blame us with a Mental Health problem. In truth Those who do the mass killings, are those of a clear mind and know what they are doing, that just do not care for others in the world. You will never stop them or even know the full story or why they kill. If you take away all the guns for the whole world, These few will find another way to mass kill. After all a car can kill just as fast as a gun. Are you going to take away all the cars from the world next. Oh, let’s not think about gas, or a big stick, This can kill also. did you know every year Thousand kill themselves just because they are poor. Fact that Banks and poor working pay lend to Their death.
    I can go on about what is wrong, fact is Gun control is only for them that will never buy or use a gun. As for the rest, getting a gun is not problem for them, no matter the law. LOL they break the law all the time.

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