The FBI has helped to disrupt or prevent nearly 150 shootings and violent attacks this year. And a factor in those cases was often steering potential gunmen toward mental health professionals.
Attorney General Eric Holder told an audience of police chiefs this fall that there have been hundreds of these disruptions since 2011. In most of these cases, the FBI helped possible offenders get access to mental health care.
Preventing mass shootings through threat assessments and treatment is an unusual tactic for an agency known for crime fighting and not for interventions. President Barack Obama made curbing gun violence a priority for his administration, yet has very little to show for it one year after the deadly mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.