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Perpetuating the lie

Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

I like reading columns authored by News Editor Kevin Lyons and often agree with his opinions.

However, I object to his use of the term “psychotic” in his column of Feb. 28, when he talks about not needing to “exchange lead” with a “psychotic gangster.”

His combination of “psychotic” and “gangster” is misleading. It serves to perpetuate the lie that people who do bad/violent things must be mentally ill. People with serious mental illness, including those with psychoses, are much more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators of violence.

This issue reminds me of how quickly the murderer in Newtown was described as mentally ill. That was not verified. He committed a horrific act and the reasonable conclusion is that he was a bad person. He may or may not have had a mental illness.

I suppose some “gangsters” are mentally ill. Most are just bad people who do bad things for a variety of bad reasons, not because they are ill.

Edward Rickert

McHenry

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