Shortly after taking office, President Donald Trump pushed to eliminate many regulations related to guns. One regulation President Barack Obama implemented makes it much harder for individuals with mental illness to get a gun. On Monday, Trump said that the El Paso, Texas and Dayton Ohio shootings were a result of “mental illness” not guns.


The National Rifle Association issued a statement saying that it supported Trump’s mission to fix the mental health problems that caused the violence. They also declared that it has been their “long-standing position that those who have been adjudicated as a danger to themselves or others should not have access to firearms and should be admitted for treatment.” 

Two years earlier, the NRA had claimed that the Obama regulation impeded people’s Second Amendments rights to buy firearms. The regulation came after the 2012 Sandy Hook elementary school shooting that killed 20 students and six faculty members. 

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Angela Kimball, CEO of the National Alliance of Mental Health, said, “In the U.S., it is easier to get a gun than it is to receive help for a mental health problem, when it should be the opposite way.” Other mental health experts say that politicians use mental health as an excuse to not support gun control legislation. 

Members of the Newton Action Alliance blasted Trump for hypocrisy on the issue. “The fact is that only four percent of violent crimes are committed by those with mental illness,” Po Murray, chairwoman of the alliance, said. “Donald Trump continues to push the NRA rhetoric that scapegoats mental illness in an effort to deflect from the real issue.”

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