Home > Uncategorized > Mass Killings at El Paso and Dayton Elicit Call from President for Mental Health Services, A Call that is Chilling

Mass Killings at El Paso and Dayton Elicit Call from President for Mental Health Services, A Call that is Chilling

August 5, 2019

This past weekend 29 people were killed in mass murders perpetrated by two white nationalists operating independent of each other: on in El Paso, TX and one in Dayton, OH. The murderer in El Paso issued a manifesto full of language that mirrored the xenophobic exhortations of President Trump at his campaign rallies. The murderer in Dayton had a history of developing “hit lists” of classmates he wanted to kill.

The President’s reaction to the killings was that we have “a mental illness problem” in our country and he urged bi-partisan support for increased background checks prior to the purchase of guns.

I am concerned that Mr. Trump’s focus— and that of all NRA-owned legislators— seems to be on “mental health”. I am concerned because we have a POTUS who’s record on truth-telling is horrible, who holds science in low regard, and whose admiration for totalitarian leaders is high. It is not implausible that Mr. Trump might well define those who oppose him as “mentally ill”. That seems to be the method used by the world leaders he admires.

I am also concerned because as a retired public school administrator I can only imagine how the FBI might use information gathered by high school disciplinarians to identify “potential shooters” and how much money might be spend to incarcerate those who pose some kind of risk…. money that does not seem to be available to help young children who current face adversity related to poverty.

Until we are willing to spend as much to prevent violence as we are willing to impose it we will not get out of the spiral we find ourselves in today. Ceasing the sale of military style weapons, armor, and bullets is an important and necessary step. Proving help to those in need, however, reinforces our hopes for the future instead of our fears about the present. It would be money well spent.

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