Although my opinion is that Jared Loughner was most likely experiencing a mental illness, and that to some extent it explains his loss of control, this article below is excellent, with a different point of view. ( I do however, agree that the explanation that he is “schizophenic” is not the end of the story.)
Similarly, it is also important for people to understand that most mentally ill people, most people experiencing schizophrenia, are not dangerous (at least to others). However , if the person has the symptoms of “Schizophrenia, Paranoid Type”, there is higher risk of violent behavior.
Jared Lee Loughner – Is Mental Illness the Explanation for What He Did?
January 9, 2011 – January 15
Clinical psychologist and writer Vaughan Bell has written a powerful piece, Crazy Talk, for Slate. Jared Lee Lougher, the suspect in the shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords and the death of six people in Arizona, is clearly a disturbed young man – The Huffington Post rounds up a quick profile of the man, including his MySpace page and odd YouTube videos.
As Dr. Bell points out, many media sources and comments online are already focusing on the idea that Loughner is schizophrenic, and that explains what he did, end of story.
This is wrong. It is wrong scientifically, where excellent research shows that the link between mental illness and violence is minimal, and it is wrong socially, where naming a person as mentally ill then closes off a deeper explanation of what happened and why.