Trump calls Texas shooting a 'mental health' issue, nothing to do with guns

Trump calls Texas shooting a 'mental health' issue, nothing to do with guns

While on a trip to Japan, President Donald Trump spoke on the recent shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas. A massacre in a church that left 26 people dead, Trump remarked that this was a “mental health problem”. He said the shooter was “a very deranged individual, a lot of problems”, and added that "this isn't a guns situation".

To get the obvious out of the way, of course this was a "guns situation". Trump, as usual, exaggerates. Most mass shootings are committed with the AR-15, and yet most gun crime overall is committed with handguns. You can solve shootings by banning AR-15s, but even banning one make and model of gun would cause serious problems. How would you confiscate every AR-15 in the country? If you just stop selling them, that could work, but then those who already have them would hoard and create a black market. If you want to take every AR-15 in the country, well, you may have a Civil War on your hands. No exaggeration.

Devin Kelley, to the dismay of those who think they can legislate away mass shootings, was not legally allowed to have an AR-15. He had been discharged from the military for domestic assault on his own child and the mother of his child. Domestic violence, as well as a felony assault, both make gun ownership illegal at the federal level. The regulation was already in place to stop Devin Kelley, a beater of his own children and wife, from buying a firearm.

Those who accuse white men of being mass shooters are half-right - perhaps they could be more precise by saying white men with a history of domestic violence are mass shooters.

Trying to alter the 2nd amendment would also be a disaster. Our current polarized political environment making radical changes to the Bill of Rights would essentially be like tearing stones out from under the foundation of America. Why not change the first amendment to outlaw hate speech? Change the fourth to limit the rights of terrorists and criminals? Messing with the Bill of Rights in our current political turmoil is naive beyond comprehension.

Maybe the gun debate is too complicated for a simple solution. Maybe, just maybe, radical human evil cannot be solved with a single policy. Kelley was not legally allowed to purchase the gun that he did, but at the same time, owning an AR-15 is likely too easy in general.

Yet, you also cannot try to reclaim all AR-15s without causing massive civil discontent. Imagine the Bundy ranch standoff from a few years ago, but with guns at stake, and with millions of Americans defending their guns from state and military forces. That's not viable.

What can we do to stop gun violence? That question itself makes a vast assumption. There are 300 million guns in America, and we are an extremely violent country. All nations have their sins, and this is one of ours. How easily can a nation cleanse itself of sin? It's not easy. Especially not in such partisan times.

What do you think?