I saw a report about mental health in USA by New York Times (NYT).
The New York Times: Focus on Mental Health Laws to Curb Violence Is Unfair, Some Say
After the school shooting crime in Newtown, argument about gun control were activated, that I wrote last month.
My past entry: Gun control and Nash equilibrium
It is not surprising that National Rifle Association, one of powerful lobbyists, is opposing against strengthening gun regulation. But it seems that they seek some scapegoats about the crime. They blamed computer games with gunshot or violent scene at first. And the next are patients with mental disorders.
NYT says that violent case occurred by mentally ill offenders are relatively rare. I also think it is true. In Japan official criminal report shows that 1% of all criminals are mentally ill. This is far less than morbidity rate of mental illness, that is about 3%.
(Besides, there are some discussions about this. For example, manslaughter case is more frequently occurred in mentally ill person.)
Therefore, it is doubtful that empowerment of the mental health support helps to reduce violent crimes. However, in many states legislation about mental health is being reformed, as NYT says. It is emotional decision making rather than rational one, I think.
Interestingly, similar cases occurred in Japan and other countries.
In Japan, outbreak of “Fuzoku Ikeda elementary school case”, that was rampage killing by a person disguising his mental status, pulled the trigger of dynamic reform of mental health care system. After long discussion, a new legislation called “The Act on Medical Care and Treatment for Persons Who Have Caused Serious Cases under the Condition of Insanity”, had been enforced since 2005. However it is said that this new system hardly prevent recurrence of Fuzoku Ikeda case itself, as the perpetrator was not deemed to be mentally ill. Indeed, he was executed.
In United Kingdom, McNaughton rules were criteria as regulation to deal with mentally ill offenders. However Mr. Daniel McNaughton himself was not adapted to McNaughton rule.
Wikipedia: M’Naghton Rules
History may repeat itself. Nevertheless we have to be rational, must not seek another scapegoat. For more secure and comfort world, calm and scientific discussion is needed.