Check out this great interview from Vox.com’s German Lopez with Vanderbilt University’s Jonathan Metzl.
This might be the most important takeaway from the interview, but again, go read the whole thing:
So while I do think there’s a particular profile that many mass shooters fit into, the problem we get into when we diagnose the individual mass shooter and say mental illness is the cause is twofold. One, mental illness is really not causal for shootings; there’s no mental illness that causes people to shoot other people. Two, focusing on mental health takes the shooting out of context. If you look at recent mass shooters, whiteness, for example, is a theme that runs through many, many mass shooters, but we would never say whiteness is a cause of this. It shows we collapse and oversimplify the roles of mental illness in shootings, and mass shootings in particular.