After a mass shooting in Texas over the weekend left 26 people dead and 20 injured, Donald Trump spoke out against calls for gun control, stating that our nation’s current level of epidemic gun violence “isn’t a guns situation [but ] a mental health problem at the highest level.”
Ironic, considering that one of Trump’s earliest actions after taking office was to do away with protections that were put in place specifically to keep guns out of the hands of people suffering from mental illness. Peter Ambler, executive director of the gun control group Giffords, stated:
Trump is wrong — study after study show that stronger gun laws can save lives — and a hypocrite of the worst kind. One of his first actions as president trashed a new regulation that would have prevented potentially irresponsible and mentally incompetent people from being able to buy guns.
Trump and a Republican-controlled House and Senate signed H.J. Res 40 into law last February, effectively nullifying an Obama era regulation requiring adults with a history of extreme mental illness to be added to a national background check database. The regulation was instituted after a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that left 20 first graders and 6 adults dead.
According to Senator Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.,
Any link between mental health and gun violence in a particular situation cannot be used as an excuse for inaction on common sense gun violence measures. It is the height of hypocrisy for President Trump — who called the latest tragic mass shooting ‘a mental health problem at the highest level’ — to have rolled back a rule specifically designed to prevent some gun violence deaths.
To make matters worse, Trump’s budget would cut an astounding $400 million dollars from mental health programs. If guns aren’t the problem, and mental illness is, then why roll back regulations to keep the mentally ill from obtaining firearms and cut $400 million from programs that are helping to combat the issue?
Seems like the outcome to that would be a predictable rise in mass shootin’ …oh, wait.