• Only around 3-5% of violent acts can be attributed to the mentally ill.  Mentally ill people are far more likely to be the VICTIMS of violence than the perpetrators.
  • These shootings involve access to guns, so even if addressing mental illness would have a positive effect on preventing mass shootings, it would STILL involve seizing or preventing the ownership of guns by those deemed mentally unfit.  Which is something the Republicans refuse to do.
  • Abbott admitted that this shooter had “no history of mental illness.”  So, for addressing mental health to impact mass shootings, it would require performing a mental illness evaluation every time someone wishes to purchase a gun.  Which is something else the Republicans refuse to do.
  • If a person is deemed mentally ill and dangerous to themselves and others AND their ownership of guns is not revoked, the only other alternative is to place them on an involuntary hold for an indefinite period of time.  Otherwise, the moment they are released, they could simply take up where they left off.  Indefinite, involuntary holds are fraught with peril for a whole host of historical reasons but, regardless, this is something the Republicans also refuse to do (and it’s probably a good idea not to let them do so).
  • Even if all those things were in place, it still cannot address the possibility of a person who owns guns, who was deemed mentally fit when they purchased them, and has no other history of mental illness, suddenly having a mental health crisis and engaging in these acts.
  • Many of these mass shootings also involve people obtaining improperly secured guns in their own or another person’s home.  Requiring the bare minimum of securing a gun from easy access is something ELSE Republicans refuse to do.

The Republican talking points are all about this being solely the result of mental health issues and not guns.  But even if that were true, it would still require confiscating or restricting access to guns, to those who were deemed mentally unfit to have them.  This is something the Republicans refuse to do.

Every time Republicans deflect this issue onto mental health, they need to be asked, pointedly and repeatedly, “What measures will you take to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill?  When will you introduce legislation requiring mental health evaluations before gun purchases?” Etc.  They need to be asked to explain how they are specifically going to address preventing the mentally ill from obtaining guns.  Because the Republican explanation for the cause is a lie, they know it, and even the solutions required if it were true, involve passing some of the most basic gun laws that Democrats have been trying to pass for years.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.

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