PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — President Donald Trump says the Texas Church shooting was a “mental health issue” not a gun issue. The American Psychological Association called the remarks a distraction.
“Folks that struggle with mental health issues, are not fundamentally violent people,” said Dr. David Rogers, a former president of the Pennsylvania Psychological Association.
He says there are regulations designed to keep guns out of the hands of individuals with red flags, like a protection from abuse order.
A red flag should have stopped Texas shooter Devin Patrick Kelley from purchasing the rifle he used to kill 26 people.
Rogers believes closed hospitals and insurance limitations leave mental health patients with few options.
“Culturally, we’ve abandoned folks that need mental health care,” he said.
President Trump eliminated an Obama regulation that kept guns from SSI recipients with incapacitated by mental illness.
APA President Antonia Puente called gun violence a serious public health problem.
Dr. Mark Salzer a psychologist at Temple University says, “These are a population that’s being scape-goated.”
He says violence is rare among those with mental illness; infact those with serious mental illnesses are seven times more likely to be victims.
“They’re shot by law enforcement every 30 hours,”he said. “People with mental illness are more likely experience verbal violence and verbal assaults.”
Salzer believes blaming mental illness for gun violence, allows politicians to ignore the over saturation of guns, increase discrimination and stigma around mental health…when the truth is.
“The overwhelming majority of violent acts are done by people without mental illnesses,” he said.