GOP and Trump Dodge Florida College Capturing With Psychological Well being Discuss

The cycle is unfortunately predictable. A college capturing happens, lawmakers provide “ideas and prayers” as an alternative of options and, then, when the clamor for actual motion momentarily builds, these elected officers tired of doing something on gun management begin speaking about psychological well being.

“Our administration is working carefully with native authorities to research the capturing and be taught every thing we are able to. We are dedicated to working with state and native leaders to assist safe our colleges, and deal with the tough challenge of psychological well being,” said President Donald Trump when he finally deigned to deal with the truth that 17 individuals had been killed in a Parkland, Florida, highschool on Wednesday.

“This particular person seems to have vital points with psychological sickness. We’ll be asking, had been there indicators of psychological sickness? Could now we have stepped in beforehand?” said Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz. Plenty of others had been singing the identical tune.

This is a sick, unhappy dodge.

To imagine that America’s gun violence drawback isn’t about weapons however about psychological well being, one has to imagine that America has managed to luck into having probably the most mentally disturbed inhabitants of individuals on planet Earth. No different nation has as many mass shootings normally or faculty shootings particularly as do these United States, so if psychological well being is the issue, it stands to purpose that we might have a inhabitants of mentally in poor health individuals dwarfing that of the remainder of the world.

Except no, we do not. No nation is proof against psychological sickness.

What America does have, although, is far more weapons. The U.S., with simply 4 p.c of the world’s inhabitants, has nearly half of the world’s weapons. That’s the distinction between America and the locations the place mass shootings do not occur with something close to the frequency they do right here. America’s distinctive drawback is it has a inhabitants armed past all purpose, that it is a spot the place somebody who cannot purchase a beer or vote in a metropolis council election can buy an AR-15 and use it to kill 17 individuals.

The psychological well being dodge can be fairly insulting to these really affected by psychological sickness, who’re disproportionately possible to be the victims of violence, reasonably than its initiators. According to at least one estimate by a Duke University professor, curing schizophrenia, bipolar dysfunction and despair at the moment would only cause a 4 percent drop in violent crime.

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Plus, I’m keen to guess fairly a bit of cash that if the shooter in Florida had been Muslim, an immigrant or affiliated with a gang in a roundabout way, Republicans – and Trump particularly – would have fairly a bit to say on issues under no circumstances linked to psychological well being.

But let’s take Republicans and the anti-gun management crowd at their phrase that they genuinely wish to do one thing about psychological well being coverage. Perhaps, then, they need to cease writing budgets that minimize funding for it, as does Trump’s (for no matter that funds is value). They may cease making an attempt to chop Medicaid, which is the country’s single largest source of psychological well being funding.

Or they may decline to make it simpler for these with psychological sicknesses to amass weapons within the first place, as Trump did in February by revoking an Obama-era regulation. These actions and written proposals converse far louder than probably the most heartfelt paeans to America’s psychological wellness throughout a “Fox and Friends” interview.

Republicans pivot to psychological sickness within the aftermath of each mass capturing as a result of they desperately wish to speak about something apart from weapons, and psychological sickness has a sure public salience to it after considered one of these horrific occasions. The connection between a disturbed thoughts and a killing spree makes intuitive sense. It permits these GOPers to appear like they’re doing one thing, whereas concurrently not crossing both the NRA or their anti-gun management voters.

But do not mistake speaking passionately about psychological well being for really doing something to cut back gun violence – and even taking steps to enhance psychological well being remedy. Heck, the Sandy Hook capturing – the place 20 faculty youngsters had been gunned down, keep in mind – adopted the identical unhappy faculty capturing script, after which Congress did exactly squat to alter psychological well being coverage, by no means thoughts doing something concerning the killing instruments that we’re blithely allowed to purchase and promote like trinkets.

The complete charade is an insult to our intelligence and a dereliction of responsibility on the a part of our elected officers. I’ve had sufficient of it. Pointing to psychological well being is a distraction from the truth that many lawmakers do not wish to take probably the most minuscule of steps to really cut back gun violence. Don’t be fooled.

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