In the wake of almost every mass shooting — a term which, by now, has become so familiar as to feel almost disconnected from the vicious slaughter of random people in ordinary places — the National Rifle Association and its fellow travelers make the same point: There are many more guns in circulation in the United States than murders, so the problem isn’t guns, per se, but the people who turn them on innocents. The problem, they say, is mental health.
“Since 1966, the National Rifle Association has urged the federal government to address the problem of mental illness and violence,” the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action said in 2013.“The NRA will support any reasonable step to fix America’s broken mental health system without intruding on the constitutional rights of Americans.” Yet, true to form, the same article also says, “The danger of overbroad mental health disqualifiers is already clear to tens of thousands of veterans,” which is of particular interest in relation to this week’s shooting in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Indeed, the Thousand Oaks shooting illuminates some of the most salient problems with the NRA’s position that reducing mental illness, not guns, is the solution to the United States’ nightmarish mass shooting problem.
Read more HERE.