That isn’t mental illness: it’s terrorism.
Experts across the spectrum — from those who study mental illness, crime, and gun violence — all largely agree: our crisis of mass shootings isn’t the result of mental illness. It’s fueled by hate and grievance and is most appropriately called one thing and one thing only: terrorism.
Only our media and politicians insist on calling terrorism what it isn’t, as if using the word will burn them when they type it or call it out.
So it continues. Media and politicians blame mental illness for terrorism that they, themselves, often inspire and amplify.
January 6th was an act of terrorism, killing eight people including three police officers. The plan to kidnap and murder Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer was an act of terrorism. The shooting at Club Q was an act of terrorism, as are the vast majority of the over-600 mass shootings America has experienced in the past year.
It may be terrorism with big goals like getting a president elected or changing policy and laws.
It may be terrorism with smaller goals directed at a former boss or lover who fails to “respect” their male-privilege grievance, often ending in suicide or death-by-cop.
Or it’s terrorism targeting people because of their race, religion, or because of who they love.
But it’s all very simply one thing and one thing only: terrorism.
You can’t cure a problem that you refuse to identify. And if we truly want terrorism in America to stop, we damn well better start calling it what it is.