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Guns and Mental Illness: What the Experts Say

Guns and mental illness: it’s a topic that frequently surfaces, in the wake of each mass shooting in the U.S. The problem, say some politicians, pundits, and other leaders, is one of mental health. After all, surely only a very ill person would seek to cause the sort of widespread violence that characterizes a shooting spree. If we could only increase scrutiny of these sick individuals, goes the argument, we could stop the problem at the roots. However, what do mental health experts think about this? In a recent piece for The Conversation, Arash Javanbakt, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Wayne State University, outlined the issues with targeting the mentally ill as a group when trying

The Road to Extremism

Where does extremist violence come from? In the wake of yet another American shooting by a white nationalist, this question is more pressing than ever. However, says Dr. Noémie Bouhana of UCL Security & Crime Science, writing for the UK Commission for Countering Extremism, the factors that lead to an act of terrorism are highly complicated. When an individual commits an act of terrorist violence, rather than examining this person as a “lone wolf”, Bouhana recommends seeing their outburst as the culmination of the interwoven circumstances, a kind of ecosystem. It’s not about shifting the blame off the person, but about trying to develop a counter-strategy that really works: when intervention

This is Your Brain on Power

Warning: it can cause symptoms similar to brain trauma, including increased impulsivity, decreased awareness of risk, and, perhaps most alarmingly, an impaired ability to see things from other people’s point of view. Are we talking about the results of some new psychiatric drug? No. We’re talking about that hazardous condition known as “being in charge.” Those are the findings from a variety of experiments running over 20 years conducted UC Berkeley psychology professor Dacher Keltner, reports Jerry Useem in a 2017 issue of The Atlantic, and it’s disconcerting news for anyone at the mercy of a leader in their life, which is to say: pretty much everyone. Ask people what qualities they most wi