Democrats Moving Towards Mental Health and Away From Gun Control to Prevent Mass Shootings
Oh, what’s this? The Democrats are finally talking just a little bit of sense? According to a recent POLITICO piece, the conversation in Washington is moving away from gun control and towards a conversation about mental health.
According to POLITICO,
The push now is to identify those who might become violent before they act, especially when the military is involved — whether that’s a contractor who the police identified as unstable, like the Navy Yard shooter, or the gunman who had been treated by a psychologist at Fort Hood.
“We need to be honest with ourselves and with you and hold ourselves accountable,” Army Secretary John McHugh told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday “If we identify new challenges, new threats that we hadn’t recognized before, we need to put into place new programs to respond…”
The approach is in stark contrast to just a few years ago, when Obama believed he could push a significant gun control package through Congress after a shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut shocked America’s collective conscience.
Even Democratic lawmakers who have been victims of violence using a gun are shying away from gun control as an issue, also from POLITICO,
Rep. Ron Barber (D-Ariz.), who was shot alongside former Rep. Gabby Giffords in a Tucson, Ariz., parking lot, said the mental health focus should be on treatment and prevention – not guns.
“That’s a much more complicated issue, and we need to go slow on that,” he said when asked about the need for new federal regulations that restrict the mentally ill from getting their hands on such. “The key is early identification, diagnosis and treatments and when we do that we can avert these tragedies.”
Of course, gun owners, the NRA (and other gun rights groups) along with many Republican and Libertarian lawmakers have been saying these things all along. Of course the problem is the people using guns to do bad things. Of course, as gun owners, we do have to be vigilant for backdoor gun control disguised as something else, but all in all, it’s good to see a shift in the conversation in Washington.