When addressing the recent mass shootings, President Trump blamed mental illness as the source of the problem.
Critics say every country has mental illness but only the U.S. has routine mass shootings.
“Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun.”
“If we had stronger gun safety laws, there wouldn’t be a trigger to pull.”
Nadia Azis with the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights under the law argues blaming mental illness for mass shootings is a distraction from what she says is the real problem – guns.
Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy has dedicated his career to gun reform since the Sandy Hook school shooting.
He said in a tweet that four out of five mass shooters have no mental illness diagnosis. And half showed no signs of a prior undiagnosed illness.
The latest science is contradictory – an FBI study of mass shootings between the 2000 and 2013 found that fewer than 25% of the gunmen were diagnosed with a mental illness.
A recent Secret Service investigation of mass shootings in the year 2018 found two thirds of the gunmen did exhibit symptoms of mental illness.
“Other countries have mental health, other countries have violent video games, other countries have hate groups.”
California Congressman Eric Swalwell says what other countries don’t have is the easy access to assault weapons and high capacity magazines.
“That’s why you see a combination of hate and access to weapons meeting. And the result is sadly, really, really deadly.”
And Azis says history shows mental illness is most frequently the excuse when the gunman is white.
This story was originally published on August 6, 2019