President Trump called Sunday’s mass shooting at a Texas church that resulted in 26 people being killed, not “a guns situation,” and instead said that the problem was the shooter’s “mental health.” This is despite the fact that Police have identified the shooter as Devin Kelley, 26, but have not issued a report on his mental health.
“I think that mental health is your problem here,” Trump said during a news conference in Tokyo, Japan, “This was a very — based on preliminary reports — a very deranged individual. A lot of problems over a long period of time. This isn’t a guns situation. This is a mental health problem at the highest level. It’s a very, very sad event. A very, very sad event, but that’s the way I view it.” You can see his remarks in the footage below.
Asked whether gun control is "the answer" after Texas shooting, Pres. Trump responds, "This is a mental health problem at the highest level" pic.twitter.com/G6O7Y6IoNK
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) November 6, 2017
How can this situation be a mental health issue but not a gun issue? Admitting that it is a mental health issue is also admitting that it’s a gun issue! Because someone who was mentally ill was able to acquire guns. Stephen Paddock was said to be mentally ill as well, so the common recurring theme here is mental health and guns. You cannot separate the two.
But of course Trump has avoided referring to this horrible act as terrorism and does not want to anger what’s left of his gun loving base. The fact that his response is so predictable is exactly why it seems impossible to solve difficult issues such as these in this country. If each side instantly retreats to their usual talking points, how can a discussion be had to solve this gun problem?