By Digital Afro Contributing Writer Issac Morgan: Issac is a distinguished graduate of Florida A&M’s School of Journalism. He is an avid writer covering diverse topics including politics, digital media, sports, & social reform.
While we await more details surrounding the deadly shooting in a Texas Baptist church that left at least 26 people dead and dozens with serious injuries, the political rhetoric of gun control and mental health has crept up once again as the major debate in mainstream media.
Of course, one could argue that most of the gunmen in these mass shootings were suffering from some mental health issue, such as major depression or PTSD, to name a few.
But is this the root cause of such vicious actions? So many of us probably have a diagnosable mental illness, however, the majority don’t have an urge to grab a deadly weapon and kill innocent people. It’s almost as if we as a nation choose to ignore that some crimes are racially-motivated, or simply the result of inhumane acts of killing even from those who have come from “good” backgrounds. Hence, the Las Vegas shooter who was described as a normal guy coming from a wealthy background, which his relatives and close friends would have never imagined him to be capable of committing this crime.
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Following a condolence tweet from President Donald Trump, a day after the incident, he reminded us of his stance on the gun debate in America: “Mental health is your problem here,” Trump said, CNN reports, noting that “based on preliminary reports” the shooter was “a very deranged individual.”
“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.”
The lone gunman, Devin Patrick Kelley, who was described as a white male in his mid 20s, was later found dead of a gunshot wound in his vehicle after a resident pursued Kelley with a firearm, which authorities have yet to rule his death as the result of a self-inflicted wound or from the brave person who fired on the suspect.
The fact that we label most of these killers as mentally-ill only furthers the overall problem, suggesting the dismissal of violent acts as inescapable consequences of an unhealthy mental state. Therefore, we will continue to prescribe medication to circumvent the real issues at hand. Though there isn’t a simple solution of establishing stricter gun control laws to prevent tragedies, a closer look into the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) influence on gun policies in the U.S. could lead to a more productive debate, with hopes of Congress taking necessary action on major gun control legislation.
Until then, we can only keep hope alive and “pray” that the list of the deadliest mass shootings in the U.S. doesn’t continue to climb.
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