NRA President Oliver North Blames Ritalin For Mass Shooting Epidemic in U.S.
Oliver North, the incoming president of the National Rifle Association (NRA), took the recent shooting at Santa Fe High School that claimed at least 10 lives as an opportunity to chime in on the ongoing gun control debate.
North said on Fox News Sunday that he believes the problem is not the Second Amendment, but rather, a “culture of violence” in video games, television and movies, and drugs – specifically, Ritalin.
“They’ve been drugged in many cases,” North said. “Many of these young boys have been on Ritalin since they were in kindergarten.”
Ritalin is a drug prescribed to treat ADHD and narcolepsy. George DuPaul, a psychologist at Lehigh University whose research lies in ADHD treatment, told CBS News that the research involving the effects of Ritalin and similar drugs in children do not support North’s claim. DuPaul said that nothing links Ritalin treatment with violence and, if anything, children tend to be less aggressive.
Interestingly, investigators have given no indication thus far that the Santa Fe shooting suspect, 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtiz, used Ritalin or any other drugs. Pagourtiz’s attorney stated that he was unaware if his client was on any medication.
North pointing the finger at the consumption of violent media rather than a lack of gun control echoes Sen. Marco Rubio’s statement following the Parkland shooting in February. Rubio claimed that gun laws could not have prevented what happened at Parkland and that lawmakers must “focus on the violence part” of policymaking. North’s sentiments are also joined by Texas Lt Gov. Dan Patrick, who blamed school gun violence on abortion and violent video games.
“We have devalued life, whether it’s through abortion, whether it’s the breakup of families or violent movies, and particularly violent video games,” Patrick told ABC’s “This Week.”
Before North began blaming shootings on violent television, movies and video games, he appeared in ads for the first-person shooting game Call of Duty: Black Ops II in 2012 and had caused upheaval for his role in the Iran-Contra scandal in the 1980s.
North is set to take over the NRA presidency within the coming weeks.