There is rampant hysteria today about the mentally ill being dangerous and having access to guns. To some the mentally ill are the major problem with gun violence. Take for example, Ann Coulter’s recent headline: “Guns don’t kill people, the mentally ill do”.
Too often government policies are based on these erroneous beliefs as legislatures are spinning off new laws to constrain the mentally ill. New York state passed a law dirercting therapists to report any client thought to be “likely to engage in” violent behavior to the police. Such prediction is very difficult to do accurately and results in many false positives.