Guns and mental health both played a part

Donald Trump believes the hideous massacre in Sutherland Springs, Texas, is a “mental health issue,” not a “guns issue.”

I’ve been trying to process the president’s statement, which he delivered in Japan. I am coming up empty with that notion.

You see, I happen to believe the lunatic shooter who killed 26 people at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs had no business packing the weapon he used to commit the carnage.

In other words, “mental health” and “guns” aren’t mutually exclusive issues as they relate to this horrific episode in our nation’s history.

The shooter was an Air Force veteran who received a bad conduct discharge after he assaulted his wife and young child. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has pointed out that the gunman applied for a concealed handgun permit, but was denied the permit because of his criminal record.

And that begs the question: How did this sicko get his mitts on an assault rifle? And, yes, I expect to hear the argument that will come forth that bad guys will obtain guns no matter how many laws we have on the books.

The debate on this hideous deed will commence fully in due course. The nation will grieve and a community will bury its victims. I don’t want to wait too long before this debate gets under way.

The president can lead that debate by acknowledging what I believe is painfully obvious about what has transpired. It is that guns need to be part of the discussion topics, right alongside the issue of mental health care.

These issues are not mutually exclusive.

Read more posts from High Plains Blogger here.

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