The Republican attempt to pin the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton on “mental health” issues was rebuked by the American Psychological Association on Monday.
“Routinely blaming mass shootings on mental illness is unfounded and stigmatizing,” said APA President Rosie Phillips Davis in a statement.
“Research has shown that only a very small percentage of violent acts are committed by people who are diagnosed with, or in treatment for, mental illness. The rates of mental illness are roughly the same around the world, yet other countries are not experiencing these traumatic events as often as we face them.
“One critical factor is access to, and the lethality of, the weapons that are being used in these crimes. Adding racism, intolerance and bigotry to the mix is a recipe for disaster.”
As has often been the case after mass shootings, Republican leaders have echoed the gun rights extremists at the NRA and sought to cast blame on anything but guns.
In his address to the nation after the shooting, Trump said that the cause of the shooting had more to do with video games and mental health issues — “not the gun.”
Other Republican leaders, like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, also repeated the mental health talking point.
Instead of dealing with the weapons instrumental to creating mass death, Republicans continue to invoke one canard after another. But professionals like Davis have made it clear: The guns are the problem.