The tragic mass shooting in America has provoked a world-wide reaction and a search for answers to the question of why this happened. Answering this question will require a detailed assessment of the suspect as well as a conviction. People commonly ask if such a person has a mental illness as such behaviour is so far out of the ordinary. However very unusual and terrible behaviours can be carried out by people without a mental illness. That is why it is important to wait for the police investigations and any forensic assessments to be completed as well as a conviction. Finding immediate answers can offer an anxious public reassurance in the short-term but at the risk of getting the wrong answer and stigmatising groups based on incorrect assertions. At Shrinkrap there is a post about Forensic Psychiatrist Park Dietz’s advice on media coverage of mass murders. Via @VaughanBell there is also an informative interview with Forensic Psychiatrist Professor Paul Mullen where he provides an overview of the historical and cultural context of such tragic events. Professor Mullen also comments on the issue of gun control and behaviour profiles as well as his opinion on solutions.
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