Opinion

Bonesso: Despite the President’s insistence, mental health is not to blame for mass shootings

By August 8, 2019 2 Comments

President Donald Trump mugs for the camera during a visit to the site of a mass shooting spree in Dayton Ohio. (White House Photo)

By Gab Bonesso
Pittsburgh Current Columnist
info@pittsburghcurrent.com

My name is Gab Bonesso and I deal with mental health issues. I have bipolar disorder, PTSD, Anxiety and OCD. I’m also a hyper-sensitive person but that’s not listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, yet.

I work full-time as a performer doing standup comedy for adults, motivational speaking for adults/kids and music for children. I write for this publication you are currently reading and I also make YouTube videos.

The one thing that I don’t do is kill people. I mean, metaphorically on stage I suppose I have, but literally, never. I’ve never bought a gun nor even thought about buying a gun. I have no desire to see people in pain rather it physically pains me to watch others suffer. Due to my mental health issues, I’m considered an empath. Not a psychopath as the media would have you believe.

I know I’m not the first person to comment on this perpetual narrative that occurs every time an angry, white man shoots up a public place. 

“We need to address mental health issues in this country.”

Perhaps I’m sensitive because my mental health is my number-one priority in life, but this backward narrative that mental health issues are to blame for mass shootings feels like gaslighting to me. 

Also, I’d like to note that the mental health narrative is only mentioned when the shooter is white. If a young black kid is involved in gang violence no one would ever talk about mental health being the issue. I would argue that in a systematically racist society, the young black kid would be far more likely to have PTSD and other mental health issues.

In the recent mass shooting in Texas, it has been confirmed that the shooter specifically walked into that Walmart with an agenda to kill Mexicans and Mexican-Americans. He had previously written a manifesto called “An Invasion of Hispanics”.

Racism is not a mental health disorder. It’s a personality disorder. It’s a gross manifestation of entitlement, but it’s certainly not caused by a chemical imbalance. 

“We need to address mental health in the country.”

No, no we don’t. We need to discuss humanity. We need to discuss community involvement that when you see something online that is full of hate and violence you report it. We need to reinstate the Federal Assault Weapons Ban.

That’s what we need right now in America.

We need a President who knows the actual name of the city that was involved in the mass shooting. We don’t need a president who goes to a site of horrific mass shootings to take grip-and-grin photos and brag about how people showed “the love, the respect for the office of the presidency.” We need a President who doesn’t incite hatred and white supremacy. We need a President!

The only time we should be talking about mental health is when we are offering the proper support to the victims and their families. 

Did you hear about the panic in Times Square, NY when a motorcycle backfired? People began running thinking it was another mass shooting.

As a nation, we are developing PTSD. That is an area where we can discuss mental health in relation to mass shootings, but to label the murderers mentally ill as though that answers why they did what they did is cruel. It’s uneducated, ignorant and it is gaslighting a community of people who are trying our best to survive our own minds.

To quote Jack Nicholson in the film As Good As It Gets, 

“Sell crazy someplace else. We’re all stocked up here.”

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