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Is Mental Health To Blame For Mass Shooting Crisis?

“We as a state – as a society – need to do a better job with mental health,” said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott just days after the massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.

The GOP party – led by Abbott – has spun the Uvalde mass shooting narrative to blatantly blame all mass shootings on mental health access and not on gun reform which they are so fond of – in their last two legislative sessions, Texas legislators have loosened gun laws, most notably by passing permitless carry in 2021.

“Anybody who shoots somebody else has a mental health challenge. Period. We as a government need to find a way to target that mental health challenge and do something about it,” said Abbott.

However, in April, the Governor slashed nearly $211 million from the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), which oversees mental health services in Texas. Instead, the funds were diverted to add to his effort to send the National Guard to the Texas-Mexico border, currently known as Operation Lone Star.

According to KSAT, no other Texas agency received a more significant cut than the HHSC when Abbott slashed funding.

An annual report on the “State of Mental Health in America” by Mental Health America, a nonprofit that advocates for people with mental illness, ranked the states according to how much access to care they have.

Texas ranked 51st out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia in access to mental health care and 44th for an overall ranking of mental health measures.

“In Texas, the bottom-ranked state, nearly three-quarters of youth with major depression did not receive mental health treatment,” Mental Health America tweeted in October 2021, when the report was published.

Abbotts’ idea of laws to make sure that schools are safer, address mental health issues, and specifically not gun access or violence – on the contrary, the GOP party has sought to train and arm school teachers and staff as a solution to mass shootings.

“There is an array of healthcare issues that we face as a state in general but there are an array of healthcare issues that relate to those who commit gun crimes in particular. Those need to be addressed,” Abbott said.

“If there’s anybody here who thinks we have perfect health care in this country or in this world – they’re wrong. If there’s anybody who thinks we can’t do more to address mental health care – they’re wrong. We can and we’re going to.”

RA Staff
RA Staff
Written by RA News staff.


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