The Atlantic

So You Think Someone Might Be Mentally Ill

In the wake of mass shootings, some blame a failure to spot the signs of mental illness. But myriad obstacles stand in the way of getting someone good mental-health treatment.
Source: Broward County Sheriff / Reuters

In the years before 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz allegedly killed 17 people in a Florida high school on Wednesday, his behavior was strange, but not necessarily criminal. And not necessarily suggestive of a specific mental illness, either. He seemed fixated on guns and on killing animals, and his mother would sometimes call the police on him in an effort to manage his behavior. Some news reports have also said that Cruz has been “in and out of mental-health treatment,” though his diagnosis is not clear.

After mass shootings, opponents of gun control are often quick to suggest more mental-health treatment as a way to prevent further carnage. Yesterday morning, President Trump tweeted as much:

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