Jared Loughner: Fear-Mongering and the Mentally Ill

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REUTERS/Joan Andrew

Jared Loughner’s alleged mental illness has been a central point of discussion as we try to understand how the shootings in Arizona could have happened. But TIME’s Massimo Calabresi cautions against drawing conclusions about the general population of schizophrenics, when only 7% have done so in the last year.

It is still unknown if Loughner is schizophrenic or has another disorder, whether it was his drug use or just his own brain chemistry that led him to shoot 19 people. But regardless of the root cause, Calabresi advocates for a shift in debate towards prevention and understanding for Americans who suffer from a mental illness, rather than stigma and accusation:

If society is going to identify and help those at risk of dangerous, violent schizophrenia, the best place to focus resources and attention is at colleges, which are semi-monitored environments with existing funding streams and (usually) health and mental health infrastructures.

For more, read on here.