The Onion gets serious for a moment - accidentally comes pretty close to the truth
By The Onion
Wednesday, Oct 4, 2017
|This Shooting Isn’t About Gun Control We Refuse To Pass, It’s About Access To Mental Health Care We’re Continuing To Gut
As our nation struggles to come to grips with the horrible tragedy in Las Vegas, it’s only natural for people to search for an explanation of how an atrocity like this could have happened and to call on their elected officials to take measures to prevent such terrible bloodshed from occurring again in the future. Unfortunately, however, we’ve seen enough of these incidents to know that some people will rush to blame firearms for this carnage and will demand that Congress enact sweeping gun restrictions, engaging in misguided efforts that completely miss the underlying reasons behind the violence we’re seeing.
The simple truth is, mass shootings like this aren’t about gun control we refuse to pass. They’re about access to mental health care that we will continue to gut.
You can already hear the calls from the left. In the aftermath of this mass murder, millions of people are once again pushing for an assault weapons ban that I won’t allow lawmakers to give even a moment of consideration, let alone bring to a vote. If these folks actually examined the realities of the issue, they would see that the real culprit in these incidents is, and always has been, our country’s inadequate mental healthcare system that leaves troubled, potentially violent individuals without the support they need, and which my colleagues and I have spent most of our careers seeking, often successfully, to defund.
The reason we have tragedies like this is because of how our healthcare system that I am dead set on undermining fails to serve Americans in desperate need of psychological treatment. Not because of a lack of gun ownership regulations, the slightest toughening of which will never even receive a single second of debate on the floor of the House on my watch.
Case in point, I’ve seen commentators cite the GOP bill to loosen restrictions on silencers that is currently making its way through Congress as contributing to an environment where these shootings will continue to occur, an erroneous line of reasoning that completely ignores how our party’s many active attempts to repeal Obamacare would make it significantly harder, if not impossible, for millions of unwell individuals to visit mental health specialists and receive the treatment necessary to keep their erratic behavior in check.
If we as a nation are really serious about preventing future tragedies, we shouldn’t focus on regulating so-called gun sale loopholes and outlawing high-capacity magazines, the very mention of which will elicit an overwhelming and immediate nullifying response should it be breathed on the floor of the House. Instead, we need to pay attention to the fact that many people with treatable mental illnesses struggle to afford medication or therapy, and then work around the clock to ensure that their meager options only dwindle further and become more expensive. That is where we need to be focused as a nation.
If we’re going to get anywhere, we must see this problem for what it truly is: a nationwide mental health crisis that my policies have allowed to metastasize and that I am working continuously to exacerbate. Not some issue of who can and can’t buy guns, all legislation about which I, along with the powerful resources of supportive lobbyists, have suppressed with exceptional efficiency.
Because as easy as it is to blame this unconscionable loss of human life on background check laws designed to maximize the profits of the gun industry at the expense of public safety, the real fault lies with healthcare legislation designed to maximize insurance industry profits at the expense of public safety.
Remember, it’s not guns we’ve deliberately removed all barriers to owning that kill people. It’s people to whom we continually deny basic care that kill people.
** According to The Onion, this piece was penned by Paul Ryan (R-WI), Speaker of the US House of Representatives. Who knows if the good folks at The Onion are telling the truth? Doesn't matter, really - because the point about lack of mental health care is spot on.
- prh, ed.
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