Study: 1 in 10 Americans Angry and Armed


A disturbing report about impulsive behavior and access to firearms triggered a fair amount of debate early Wednesday.

CBS News reports on a study out of the Duke University School of Medicine, which reveals nearly one in 10 Americans have serious mental health issues and ready access to guns.

"There is a potentially much larger group of individuals in our society who struggle with pathological impulsive and destructive anger that would not normally turn up as serious mental illness on a background check," study author and professor in psychiatry and behavioral science Dr. Jeffrey Swanson told CBS. "More than 306,000 people have died in a domestic setting as the result of a gun shot, whether homicide, suicide or accident, over the last 10 years."

The study found 8.9 percent of admittedly short-fused people had guns at home, "which is something of a wake-up call," said Swanson.

More than 5,600 men and women were asked about tantrums and other bursts of angry behavior. They also underwent diagnostic testing for relatively common mental health conditions such as anxiety and personality disorders and were asked how many handguns, rifles, and/or shotguns they owned. All were also asked how many days they had carried a firearm outside the house in the prior month—apart from going to a shooting range.

"The idea that the solution is to simply fix our mental health care system to better identify serious mental illness is a little bit of a red herring," said Swanson.