The Next Time Someone Blames Gun Violence Solely on Mental Illness, Show Them This

Like clockwork, whenever there’s some high-profile mass shooting that doesn’t involve a Muslim shooter, Republicans regurgitate the same three things:

  • “Thoughts and prayers.”
  • Claim now is not the time to talk about gun violence.
  • Blame mental illness.

Over and over again, Republicans churn out the same b.s. while doing absolutely nothing to address gun violence.

The one thing that infuriates me the most about the GOP response to mass murder by gun is their instant pivot toward blaming it on “mental illness.” It’s an easy argument to be made since, after all, someone clearly isn’t mentally sound if they’re willing to commit mass murder, right?

As with many Republican talking points, while it sounds good to their legions of followers who don’t like to think for themselves — the “mental illness” excuse for gun violence doesn’t make a damn bit of sense.

Countries such as England, Australia, France, Germany, and Japan all have mentally ill people living within their borders, so why don’t they have the same sort of gun violence epidemic as we do?

If “criminals don’t obey laws,” as gun fanatics often say, thus new gun regulations won’t prevent criminals from obtaining firearms, then why don’t these other major countries have the same type of gun violence issues we do?

All things mostly being equal, the only main difference between the United States and these other countries is that they heavily regulate guns and we don’t.

Also, if it’s just about mental illness, then why don’t women carry out these mass shootings as often as men? The vast majority of our nation’s gun violence is attributed to men. Yet if the main cause for gun violence is “mental illness,” then a larger percentage of it should be carried out by women — but it’s not.

Yes, undoubtedly mental illness plays a part in these tragic acts of violence. However, considering that every other major nation on Earth has citizens suffering from various forms of mental health disorders, yet they experience a fraction of the gun violence we do here in the United States, it’s obvious that mental illness is not the main catalyst behind the United States’ world-leading gun violence epidemic.

It’s the ease of access to guns in this country!

And don’t tell me “gun regulations don’t work.” Australia enacted¬†stricter regulations following the Port Arthur mass shooting in 1996 and they haven’t had a single mass shooting since.

To make this ridiculous talking point from Republicans even more absurd is the fact that, despite constantly blaming gun violence on mental illness, Donald Trump signed an order making it easier for the mentally ill to buy guns. All the while, despite using this talking point for years, Republicans haven’t done a damn thing to try to keep those suffering from some form of serious mental health issue(s) from being able to purchase weapons.

That means even if Republicans truly believe that mental illness is the leading factor behind our issues with gun violence, they’ve done absolutely nothing to keep firearms out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them, while their “president” actually made it easier for the mentally ill to buy guns.

Keep in mind these are many of the same Republicans who, toward the end of Barack Obama’s presidency, opposed a measure that would have prevented suspected terrorists on the no-fly list from being able to purchase guns.

At the end of the day, Republicans aren’t going to do anything about gun violence because they’re profiteers of death. Between the money they get from the NRA and the gun lobby as a whole, they don’t mind propagating the notion that any mention of common sense gun reforms amounts to an attack on the Second Amendment, even in the face of repeated deadly attacks at our institutions of learning.

Apparently “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” matters less than having easy access to a weapon of war that our Founding Fathers could have never envisioned.

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Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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