American autism rights activist talks to Al Jazeera about the role of mental illness in the US gun control debate.
Ari Ne’eman: I think that it’s obvious there is a lot to be done on mental health policy in this country. Unfortunately, if you were to try and think of the single worst time to have that conversation, it would most likely be in association with violent crime and gun violence. The fact of the matter is people with psychiatric and neurological disabilities are no more likely to be committing violent crime than the general population. And when we look at mental health policy reform from the prism of violence, we end up with bad mental health policy. (read more)
Transcript and original video at Al Jazeera.
Ari Ne’eman is an American autism rights activist who cofounded the Autistic Self Advocacy Network in 2006.On December 16, 2009 President Barack Obama announced that Ari Ne’eman would be appointed to the National Council on Disability. He currently chairs the Council’s Policy & Program Evaluation Committee. Ne’eman has a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome, making him the first person with an autistic spectrum disorder to serve on the council.