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Doctors tell Texas lawmakers at El Paso hearing that hatred, not mental illness often fuels mass shooters

EL PASO, Texas -- The Texas House of Representatives committee on Mass Violence Prevention and Community Safety heard public testimony Thursday at UTEP from people directly impacted by the mass shooting that occurred in El Paso on Aug. 3 as they looked to try to prevent future incidents.

At the hearing, doctors also spoke to state legislators, telling them if we want to understand why mass violence attacks like the one that killed 22 people at Walmart happen they need better access and funding.

The attack on El Paso’s Cielo Vista Walmart has been just one of many incidents of mass violence seen in the U.S., and while many jump to mental illness as a reason behind these attacks experts say that’s not the root cause.

“That’s not correct. Only about 20 percent of incidents of mass violence is due to mental illness,” said Dr. Jennifer Eno Louden, a psychology professor at UTEP.

The group of medical professionals shared with state representatives what they’ve learned. Hate and domestic violence, they said, are stronger indicators than mental health.

“What we’ve seen in terms of public knowledge is that (the El Paso attacker) was driven by hate. He came here to kill people he didn’t like or because their skin colors were different from his,” said David Schayer, executive director at the Center on Sexual and Family Violence.

“The shooter in Dayton, Ohio had a list of women that he wanted to rape and killed his own sister in the shooting,” Shayer said.

Mass violence is hard to study, every attacker has a different background and motivation.

So the doctors and researchers are asking for better ways to access and study the violent attacks, doing their best to work with what limited information they do have.

“Most of the perpetrators end up killing themselves or they’re killed by law enforcement over the course of the events so we can’t go and talk to them to find out what their motivations were,” Dr. Eno Louden said.

Researchers say the more we understand past attacks like the one that happened right here the better chance we have of identifying and stopping future attacks.

You can watch four-hours worth of testimony that took place at Thursday's hearing in the video player below.

El Paso / News / Texas / Texas Politics / Top Stories / Video

Julio-Cesar Chavez

Julio-Cesar Chavez is an ABC-7 reporter.

Comments

16 Comments

  1. Show me where in your demented mind you saw anyone promoting disarming “law abiding Americans”. For example Beto wants to abolish ARs not “all Guns”. Increasing regulations when buying firearms will not affect “law abiding” individuals. Keeps weirdos like Patrick Cusious who are jobless maggots from obtaining firearms. Weirdos who promote violence, like you and your gang always promoting killing should not own guns. You have a “snapping” gene in you.

  2. Jamesben and gang are the white minority refusing to acknowledge change in which their standard is no longer the norm. The old white maggots stuck in years past. Their kids have gone biracial. They have biracial grandkids. But still resist the big American transformation. Good luck unhappy closet dilapidated morons.

    1. Do you think Patrick was the last of it? Do you seriously believe that? He hastily attacked with maybe a month or two of preparation. How many other followers of Tarrant do you reckon are out there, training every day? The Day of the Rope is coming, you won’t be spared.

  3. Build the wall!!!!!!!! So when the New Democrat President’s platform will be to tear down the wall. Easy. Build that bitch! It’s job security for democrats. Build it!!!!!!! Build it good!!!! The better? The more job security. Build it deep and tall. Job security for future democrats!!!

    1. Wishful thinking moron. Good laugh. Trump will win in a total landslide. You will have 4 more years of TDS. The Democrats had to impeach Trump to try to prevent him from winning November 2020. Alberto aka fero2amadmikegeedubb losing, Trump winning.

    1. Oh look it’s the dumbass troll Alberto aka fero2amadmikegeedubb. The voices in his mentally diseased head keeping him up late with his chronic insomnia. Clear cut case of mental disease. His rants prove it. What a moron!

  4. Nothing but propaganda. As usual the leftist doctors and media conveniently left out the Odessa and Southerland Springs shooters serious history of mental health issues. Therefore the article is specious at best. For example the Odessa shooter was barred from purchasing any guns and was declined on a NICS background check. The Southerland Springs shooter spent time at the Peek Behavioral Center in Santa Teresa, NM. The Air Force failed to report this fact to the FBI NICS database.

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