Last February, a newly-minted President Donald Trump signed an NRA-friendly bill to eliminate an Obama-era regulation that made it harder for people with mental illnesses to purchase firearms.
As reasonably written, the law barred irresponsible and mentally incompetent people from being able to legally purchase and/or possess firearms. Consistent with the majority of gun-polling done post-Sandy Hook massacre the law would have potentially thwarted crimes like this past Sunday’s horrific shooting in Sutherland, Texas.
The National Rifle Association, of course, commended Trump for signing the law’s reversal, deeming it “a new era for law-abiding gun owners, as we now have a president who respects and supports our arms.”
Had the rule fully taken effect (it was written only a month before Trump’s inauguration), the Obama administration predicted it would have added about 75,000 names to the database.
In a statement on this past weekend’s shooting which left 26 innocent Americans dead – including 14 children – and 20 more injured, Donald Trump scapegoated mental health as the true catalyst for the crimes committed, yet gave no remark considering his earlier decision to allow for the mentally ill to obtain deadly weapons.
“This isn’t a guns situation,” Trump said. “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.”
A hypocrite of the worst kind
Understandably, those on the correct side of the issue strongly disagree.
“Trump is wrong – study after study shows that stronger gun laws can save lives – and a hypocrite of the worst kind,” said Peter Ambler, the executive director of Giffords, a gun control group started by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
“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. Blaming mental health is a tactic straight out of the gun lobby’s playbook that’s meant to paralyze Congress. Donald Trump’s goal is to make people think our leaders don’t have the power to prevent gun violence.”
“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,” noted Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., in similar statement. “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.”Click here for reuse options!
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