I've been looking at the President's plan to reduce gun violence. There's some good stuff there, but I have lately wondered if there is too much emphasis on mental health. As if mentally ill people are the only ones shooting people. The President's plan, in the section on background checks, says some alarming things. It contains a whole section on mental health care, and it discusses mentally ill people in the section about background checks. The plan uses the euphemism, "dangerous people," to refer to mentally ill people. So now, along with being called nutjobs, maniacs, lunatics, and monsters, we are "dangerous people." The NRA's LaPierre calls for a "national database of the mentally ill." I guess we get put on his list, whether we are "dangerous" or not, just because we happen to be sick. But that's not right. The majority of gun violence isn't attributable to mental illness, so don't blame crazy people for it. There's no word for that except "scapegoating." In an interview, Pamela Hyde, JD, administrator of the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration warns that we must "disconnect the discussion about mental health from the discussion about violence. While there is no question that some people with mental health problems perpetrate violent acts, so do lots and lots and lots of people who don’t have mental health problems."