Quartet’s Statement On The Boulder Shooting

March 24, 2021

As people in the United States are getting vaccinated and our country is reopening one year after the start of the pandemic, we are reminded of another ongoing epidemic in our country: gun violence. 


Less than one week after 8 people were murdered in a violent hate crime targeted at the AAPI community in Atlanta, Georgia, 10 more people were killed in a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado. In 2020 alone, there were 615 mass shootings. Today marks the 81st day of 2021 and we have already experienced 102 mass shootings


Mass shootings have long been an issue in the United States. But there’s another reason we find them so alarming. People who commit mass shootings, particularly white men, are often labeled as having mental health conditions. Already we are seeing this language applied in the case of the Boulder shooting. The suspected gunman has been described as having “delusions” and experiencing symptoms of a mental condition according to his family. We are not this person’s doctor and we can’t diagnose. 


However, we do know this: linking mental health and gun violence only furthers the stigma against people with mental health conditions, even though research shows that people with mental health conditions are actually less likely than the general population to commit mass violence. In fact, people with mental health conditions are just as likely to experience violence. For example, research has shown that nearly 1 in 4 people murdered by the police were known to have a mental health condition.


The COVID pandemic has taught us many things, chiefly that a better world is possible but we have to work together to make it so. We have to be willing to look beyond ourselves and make sacrifices for the sake of the greater good. It’s the only way we move forward. 


To the communities in Boulder, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Dallas, Houston, Stockton, Gresham, and all the other places that have been touched by gun violence, our hearts are with you.


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