Mentally Ill People Are Dangerous (And Why Trump Is Not Stupid)

Donald Trump is not stupid.

That might come as a shock to many people and quite frankly it comes as a shock to me too. Especially given the endless stream of nonsense that emanates from that orange blob. It is true though, he is not stupid. Even after he came out today, in the wake of yet another mass shooting, to determine that guns are in no way relevant after a man killed 26* men, women and children… with a gun. But the gun wasn’t relevant so we don’t need to talk about it. By the way, 26 dead makes it the deadliest shooting in Texan history, which comes only weeks after the deadliest shooting in US history. That wasn’t the time to talk about guns either, apparently. If you are keeping score though that brings the mass shooting tally to 307 mass shootings in 309 days.

In fact, it is never time to talk about guns in the USA, and why should we talk about them? They have no part to play in these shootings, remember? The real issue, as pointed out again by Trump today is; Mental Illness.

All those pesky mentally ill people just love shooting people. They have their illness, their selfish illness, and they think, you know what I will do today? I am going to go out, legally buy semi-automatic guns and shoot loads of people – because that is what mentally ill people do. We are a dangerous breed you see. I know you probably haven’t realised it but we are. We are dangerous.

Except, we’re not.

The vast majority (>95%) of all violent crimes are committed by people with no mental illnesses at all. A study in the US analysed 120,000 gun crimes, which should speak volumes for itself, and found that only 5% of perpetrators were diagnosed mentally ill. And even with that, it was not possible to determine whether mental illness caused them to shoot other people or not. In fact, almost 50% of all violent crimes, including gun crime, is committed by people under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Other consumables to be wary of are our food and oxygen, as consuming these things have a much stronger correlation with mass shootings than mental illness. So maybe we should blame those things instead? Oh yeah, that would be stupid.

I say ‘we’ in the previous paragraph because I’m from the western world. Strangely though, out of all the western countries (who also happen to have very similar rates of mental illness), it is only America that has an issue with gun crime and mass shootings. So much so that their gun issue is over 25 times larger than any other high-income country. I’m sure it is just a coincidence that America has the highest gun ownership rate of any country on the planet. Oh, and I should point out that I have done the research for you, crunched some numbers and discovered that 100%, yes one hundred percent, of all mass shootings were carried out with a gun. I didn’t listen a lot in my statistics class but I think that is a strong correlation.

So what do the people in power want to do about this (non-gun) issue?

Well, not a lot, is the short answer. You see, by deflecting the attention to mentally ill people with absolutely no basis or evidence whatsoever, the politicians can prevent any form of gun control. Why would they do that I hear you ask? Well, it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact the NRA and the Gun Lobby bribe donate millions of dollars to political parties every year. All of these politicians then independently come to the same conclusion and decide completely off their own back that gun crime is not caused by guns. Just to clarify that point further, their opinion is not influenced in any way by the millions of dollars they receive – so let’s get that straight right now. Don’t be so unpatriotic by using your brain now.

An issue which the powers that be really do want to solve is ‘terrorism’, something which is 125 times less likely to kill you than an American with a gun. Ignore that fact though and Trump has begun his war on terror by trying to ban people from several countries entering the US, despite the fact the people from these countries have never killed one American in the USA – ever. He has also tried to ban refugees under the guise of terror prevention, and rightly so, because you are 129,030 times more likely to be killed by an American with a gun than a refugee terrorist. And those illegal immigrant terrorists and that wall he wants to build? Well, you’re going to be 386,382 times more likely to be killed by an American with a gun than an illegal immigrant terrorist. Just to put that in context, you are 86 times more likely to be personally hit by an asteroid than killed by an illegal immigrant terrorist.* That wall is great value for money though, beautiful as well.

I’m digressing.

The cause of mass shootings is not guns, OK? It is mentally ill people, so obviously just like in the case for terror prevention, these politicians are doing everything in their power to ensure their population is safe from mentally ill people. What they have done is invest huge sums of money into mental health care treatment and ensured their population has access to the best mental health care seen in any country anywhere in the world. Ah yeah, that is not true either. That is because Trump is doing his best to ensure millions of poor people, and trust me, there are many millions of poor people in the US, lose their access to health care. If his plan succeeds It will actually push the total amount of uninsured United State of Americans up to over 50 million, or more than the population of England, Scotland and Wales put together. In addition to that, even 1 million or so people who do manage to keep their insurance will lose their right to mental health care.

So Trump doesn’t want to talk about guns and he seemingly doesn’t believe his own bullshit rhetoric about mental health being the cause. And, we have already established the fact that he and his party will lose money if he brings in gun control or invests in mental healthcare* (which is in no way connected to his inaction). So the next question you will ask is, how did I come to the conclusion that Donald Trump is not stupid?

It is a valid point and it all comes down to one man: Carlo M. Cipolla. He is a little known Italian economist who wrote extensively about stupidity, he even made a graph and everything – what a nice guy. He also defined the 5 fundamental laws of stupidity, shown below:

  1. Always and inevitably everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation.
  2. The probability that a certain person (will) be stupid is independent of any other characteristic of that person.
  3. A stupid person is a person who causes losses to another person or to a group of persons while himself deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses.
  4. Non-stupid people always underestimate the damaging power of stupid individuals. In particular non-stupid people constantly forget that at all times and places and under any circumstances to deal and/or associate with stupid people always turns out to be a costly mistake.
  5. A stupid person is the most dangerous type of person.

You read through that list and saw that a lot of them relate to Donald Trump and you quickly mischaracterised him as stupid. That is because of point number 3 – ‘himself deriving no gain’. Cipolla does not define anyone who has personal gain from a situation to be stupid. If they were so stupid how would they gain something? Cipolla created a whole new name for people who gain from other peoples losses and this is where his graph becomes important.

Cipolla-matrix.png

As you can see in the graph, the Republican Party and Donald Trump do not fall into the ‘stupid people’ category – they gain too much. They act in a way which is extremely detrimental to others whilst benefitting themselves, whether that be through not paying for health care, telling a dead soldier’s Mum her son knew what he signed up for, taking money from gun lobbies, cutting taxes for themselves/the rich and manipulating elections.

And it is for that reason, Donald Trump and the Republican Party are bandits, not stupid. The people who voted for him, however, are the most stupid people on Earth, not only do they see losses to themselves but they also see significant losses to other people. To show that more simply I edited the graph to help the Trump voters understand.

Dumber

One of the key takeaway points from Cipolla is that we constantly underestimate the power of stupid people. In his work, he goes on to say that stupid people are more powerful than any organisation we have ever seen, and this is not limited to the US, we have already seen the UK vote for something which provides losses to themselves and others, and other countries are following suit. The issue, of course, is bandits, but stupid people should not be underestimated. Fascism and the far right aren’t on the rise, it is stupidity that is to blame, and the only way to combat that is through education. Rather coincidentally the two countries mentioned above have the 2 most expensive higher education systems in the world – value for money I think not.

So, Trump is a bandit and most people are stupid, on the bright side though mentally ill people are not inherently violent, and in fact, we are significantly less violent than people without mental illnesses – BAN ALL NON-MENTALLY ILL PEOPLE. Ah no, that would be stupid, see how easy it is?

Paul Green

*At the time of writing.

*All of those figures are genuine, including the being hit by an Asteroid one.

*Investing in healthcare actually generates money in the long term as you have a fit and healthy populous that can work and create. Unfortunately, capitalism is a very short-sighted system so health care becomes an investment masquerading as a cost. Plus the 4-year, 2 run maximum presidential cycle means if, as a president, you do invest in health care the benefits won’t be realised for about 4 terms and someone else will take the credit and what kind of egomaniac would allow that to happen?

69 Comments

  1. Very good article, that describes the ridiculousness of portraying everyone with mental illness as dangerous and or violent. As we all know, people with mental illnesses can lead good and fulfilling lives, but when a tragedy happens, let’s blame those mentally ill people, because they’re dangerous, right? Wrong, totally wrong. And when the leader of the free world comes out with more rubbish, as he does on a regular basis, he just opens himself up to more ridicule. Stigmatising and discriminating people with mental illness needs to stop now, and with better education from those in the know.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It just goes to show how wrong we can be. I’ve considered Trump to be a numpty from day one, and anyone who voted for him to be an even bigger Numpty.

    I see the point that you’re making, and it’s a bit like Boris Johnson over here in the UK. He is not half as buffoonish as he would like us to believe. He knows exactly what he is doing, and is a very, VERY dangerous man – see Brexit for proof.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There are some very devious bandits in power all over the world at the moment, the major issue is the stupidity of the populous. We (fortunately) live in democratic states, we could and have had the opportunity to vote against these awful things. Unfortunately, as has already been said, we really are underestimating the stupidity of the masses.

      I’m originally from the UK myself and I’ve kept a close eye on the events there over the last few years. I can say the recent events have made 100% I will never return (willingly).

      Like

  3. As an American, I’m confused. As much as I would like to be a healthy, ultra-productive capitalist, it seems the less I drink and own guns the less productive yet less ill I am. The more I do these things, the less economic pressure I suffer but with incredible loss to my health.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I am not America, but I think Donald is that type of man who enrages people knowingly. He says things just to piss people off and get the conservative (or American version) voting block. Steven Harper did it in Canada until we had enough. Now mind you Harper was a boot licking soulless leech, and Donald is an fear mongering business type, but there are eery similarities. I am just happy both weren’t in power at the same time. North American would have been screwed. Sorry for my rant that has nothing to do about mental illness.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I have a mental illness, in fact, most of my friends & acquaintances have a mental illness, but we are not going out to cause harm to others.
    Are there people that don’t seek help for their mental illnesses? Yes, but don’t add to a stigma surrounding a condition to cause all evil that is taking place throughout the world.
    Trump is an idiot blaming this on only mental illness. Gun laws need to be taken seriously. I am so disgusted with him blaming mental illness as the issue behind every single mass shooting.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I am fortunate enough to live in Canada. We have STRONG gun control laws and access to lots of mental health care, and free health care. The waiting list are long, but they are free. I know the Gun control laws, I own guns. Several in fact, and we own hand guns as well. I would NEVER point a gun at a human.
    I truly believe it is not the guns, it is the people holding the gun to blame. Education on how to use a gun safely has come up, but it seems to me if someone knows how to use a gun, then they have been trained how to use them safely. It is the CHOICE they make in how they use the gun. We could have ALLLL the guns destroyed. Would not matter. These “humans” that so choose to take other peoples lives away from them do not give a shit how they do it. If they didn’t have guns, they would find another way to do it.
    I didn’t even know this had happened until I was talking to me mother this morning. She had guns when I was growing up as well. No big deal. I was taught at a young age that they kill people, if used the wrong way. I was EDUCATED in the proper handling and care of a gun when I was 12-13 years old, and younger how dangerous they were. My children know exactly how to use a gun, they also know that they NEVER, EVER point a gun at someone.
    I just don’t understand what is happening to our neighbors in the south. Because we have gun control…doesn’t mean you can’t own a gun, it means you have to be taught, and then show the teacher that you know how to use a gun SAFELY and properly. THEN you have to APPLY to get a gun license. The RCMP then REVIEW your application. You can then be denied for purchasing any weapons. If you have a history of violence, or mental illness, you are denied. Not saying that if you have mild anxiety you won’t get a rifle, But we have RULES AND EDUCATION.
    You can’t just walk into a gun store and say “I want that gun.” and get it.
    Also you have to have a completely DIFFERENT licence to OWN an assault rifle.
    I hate that there is a stigma placed on mentally ill people, but it usual is a case of their mental capacity. Mom told me today that the last man had a history of violence in his past. That man should never had access to weapons.
    We must take responsibility for our own actions. The government has a responsibility to the people in the united States to step up. This was one mans decision to shoot 26 people. He didn’t care if he had a mental illness or if he didn’t.
    The man in LA didn’t care if he had a mental illness. He thought it was the right decision to shoot people.
    How can we fix that? How can we fix peoples brains to make the proper decision?
    No it is not the guns.
    No it is not mentally ill people.
    If these are not the answers, then what is?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really appreciate your comment but you definitely wrong about guns. You’re saying you’d never point it at a human, then why have it at all? It is the most unnecessary and pointless risk I’ve heard. I don’t doubt some people can have guns and be ok. But what is the point? And the idea that people will try and kill people anyway is ludicrous, as that doesn’t happen. Plus if the kid stormed a church with a knife he will be apprehended almost immediately and with very minimal risk to life. Countries without guns have significantly lower homicide rates, and I mean significant. So whilst it is great some people in some country can not kill each other and have guns and I just cannot see the point at all. Why even risk it? It is actually pathetic. So yes, it is the guns AND the people. One thing is for sure it’s only about 5% mentally ill people.

      If there were zero guns in the world tomorrow I’d bet there would be zero gun crimes the day after.

      Let’s disarm and educate and do away with this useless addition to our lives.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have guns because I target shoot and I hunt. Both my children have shot handguns and rifles. We are members of a gun club.
        Of course if you took away all the guns there would be ZERO gun crime, Obviously,
        But People that have homicidal tendencies will still kill. That being said even with gun control laws there are still ways to get guns. If someone wants a gun they will get it. Getting rid of guns is not the answer, Sorry it will never happen. They tried to stop producing alcohol and look what happened then. And yes I realize alcohol is not the same as people killing other people with guns, but it is similar. You say that more people that drink and use drugs are prone to gun violence. So if there was no alcohol and no drugs, would there be less gun crime? Of course there would be. It is all about the educating and the controlling of who owns them.
        Do you want cops to not have guns and the military to not have guns? It is a way of life, there is never not going to be guns.
        Take a look at Canadian gun violence
        “police reported approximately 5,600 victims of violent crime where a firearm was present in 2012, a rate of 21 victims for every 100,000 population” That comes from Stats Canada, While that is NOT perfect, The american rate, “33,636 deaths due to “injury by firearms” (10.6 deaths per 100,000 U.S. citizens)”
        I know we don’t have it perfect up here, but we are doing something right.
        I stand by my statement its not the guns, its the people and how they are educated.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yeah you can say that but they took away the guns in Australia virtually over night and that was only in the 90s. It was in their constitution and amazingly gun crime dropped dramatically and now it’s comparable to other countries which don’t have guns. So it is possible and no people who have tendencies to kill won’t just do it, because the stats show so. One of the reasons is that guns on the black market are exponentially more expensive, so they’re not as accessible as you think. I’m genuinely glad you are not a bad gun owner but unfortunately we only need one bad one to mess it up and they have consistently for 100 years. Countries without guns are safer than ones with guns – fact. It has been proven year after year and always will.

          And that stats between the US and Canada are proportional to the gun ownership – more gun ownership equals more gun crime. And America has the most gun ownership.

          The UK has no guns and the police kill an average of 5 people a year with a fire arm, and gun deaths on a whole are under 60 on average. Safer.

          You certainly have your right to express your opinion though and I’m glad you’ve taken the time to comment. And I’m glad you are a responsible gun owner – if only they were all like you.

          Liked by 2 people

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