Among control subjects who read no such story, about 33 percent said they would not live with or live near a person with a serious mental illness and believed they were more dangerous than other people. About 70 percent favored banning mentally ill individuals from owning guns, and 50 percent were willing to ban high-capacity magazines. Those percentages all ratcheted up even higher after subjects read one of three stories about a mass-shooting event, an event that mentioned gun restrictions for the mentally ill, or a shooting event plus a ban on large-capacity magazines.
“These portrayals of the shooting events raise public support for gun control policies but also contribute to negative attitudes toward those with serious mental illness,” concluded Emma McGinty, M.S., writing in AJP in Advance.
To read about the psychiatric response to the Newtown, Conn., school shooting, see Psychiatric News here. To read the AJP in Advance article, click here.
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