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Second, turning immediately to the "sickness" of the shooter and piously calling for better mental health care is, more often than not, an attempt to divert attention from the main issue: guns.Every conversation about gun deaths should begin by recognizing one blindingly clear fact about this problem – the United States is on its own planet. The gun death rate in the U.S. is 10 times that of other advanced industrial countries. When seen in this light, it becomes obvious why focusing on mental health is a dodge. The rate of mental illness in the United States is not anywhere close to 40 times the rate in Britain. But the rate of gun deaths is 40 times higher. America does have about 15 times as many guns as Britain per capita, and far fewer restrictions on their ownership and use. One of the main government agencies that sponsors research on public health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has been virtually forbidden by law from doing any research on gun violence and public policy for two decades.
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