Mass shootings

White House considers new mental illness project to target violent behavior

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The White House is eyeing a proposal that would try to identify early warning signs of violent behavior in people with mental illness, the Washington Post reports. Supporters see it as a way for President Trump to address mass shootings without making changes to gun laws.

Why it matters: As we've written time and again, most mentally ill people are not violent, and the majority of mass shooters have not been diagnosed with a mental illness. And while the stated intention of the proposal is a good one, there are reasons to question whether it'll work.

Analysis shows Google search interest in mass shootings lasts about 3 weeks

A woman paying her respects at a makeshift memorial for the victims in El Paso. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images
A woman paying her respects at a makeshift memorial for the victims in El Paso. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

A new analysis by the Washington Post finds that online search interest in mass shootings typically lasts for 3 weeks after the event before tapering out. The Post's figures match Axios' findings that Google interest in mass shootings only lasts about 2–3 weeks.

Driving the news: President Trump assured the head of the National Rifle Association on Wednesday that universal background check expansions aren't on the table, following 2 mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, The Atlantic first reported and the Post confirmed. This is not the first time Trump has expressed interest in passing gun control measures after a mass shooting, only to walk it back after pressure from the NRA and members of his base.