Another School Shooting Reignites Debate Over Guns And Mental Illness

Students gather on the UC Santa Barbara campus for a candlelight vigil for those affected by the mass killing in Isla Vista on May 24 in Santa Barbara, California. A national conversation is now brewing whether police could have done more to keep a gun out of the hands of gunman Elliot Rodger, a mentally disturbed 22-year-old man, who fatally shot himself after the rampage. (Spencer Weiner/Getty Images)

There were obvious indications that University of California, Santa Barbara school shooter Elliot Rodger was disturbed.

Last month, his family had asked local police to check up on him, but the young man convinced officers he was okay. Under California law, police couldn’t have done more unless Rodger had been admitted to a mental health facility.

Mental health policy expert Richard Bonnie joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to discuss the question being asked around the country: is there more that can be done to keep guns out of the hands of disturbed and potentially violent people?


  • Richard Bonnie, law professor at the University of Virginia, who is an expert on mental health policy and criminal law and served on a consortium after the Sandy Hook school shooting.
Copyright 2014 WBUR-FM. To see more, visit