Overnight, Donald Trump blamed the mentally ill for the shootings at El Paso and Dayton. After analysing every mass shooting since 1966, two doctors would like to have a word.
Overnight, Donald Trump addressed the twin shootings in El Paso and Ohio. “The shooter in El Paso posted a manifesto online consumed by racist hate…in one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America,” he said.
He also blamed mental illness, the internet and video games as the root cause, not himself and/or the free access to guns. I mean, why would you? After all, half of the deadliest shootings in US history have occurred since he took office. In a fitting tableau, the following image was apparently taken from the El Paso shooter’s Twitter.
“Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun,” Trump said, while calling for reforms that “better identify mentally disturbed individuals who may commit acts of violence”.
He also said authorities should “make sure those people, not only get treatment, but when necessary, involuntary confinement”.
Let me just stop you there, chief. According to a report titled ‘Mass Shootings and Mental Illness’, Doctors James L. Knoll and George D. Annas measured the percentage of those that Donald fingered for the crime. If you tie in mental illness with mass shootings, it makes less than 1%. In fact, those with serious mental illness totalled around 3% of violent crime in America. Of that 3%, even less involve firearms. Tying the pair together is fallacious. The doctors wrote:
So, again. No restrictions. This was despite the fact that Trump did urge Congress (via a Tweet) for greater background checks.
We cannot let those killed in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, die in vain. Likewise for those so seriously wounded. We can never forget them, and those many who came before them. Republicans and Democrats must come together and get strong background checks, perhaps marrying….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 5, 2019
As for why not, the Republicans control the Senate. Despite the proliferation of gun violence, any progress dies on the floor. However, calling for empathy and unification rings hollow, especially when the speaker has done so much to divide, castigate, and normalise hate. Try again, Donald.