After weeks of worrying his ardent supporters, President Donald Trump was interviewed yesterday and appeared to back away from Red Flag Laws, reminding the media that he views mass shootings as a mental health problem.
In an interview recorded by C-SPAN, President Trump made clear that he believes the recent mass shootings have mental health as a root cause, and that disarming the public would be ineffective.
When asked about gun control legislation and universal background checks, President Trump responded “So, Congress is working on that. They have bipartisan committees working on background checks and various other things. And we’ll see.”
“I don’t want people to forget that this is a mental health problem. I don’t want them to forget that, because it is. It’s a mental health problem,” President Trump went on. “And as I say — and I said the other night in New Hampshire; we had an incredible evening — I said, ‘It’s the people that pull the trigger. It’s not the gun that pulls the trigger'”.
President Trump added that there is a massive mental health problem in the United States, and his administration is finding ways to address it.
The president also noted that part of the blame could lay at the hands of the federal government for closing mental institutions.
“I was talking about mental institutions,” said President Trump. “They closed so many, like 92 per cent of the mental institutions around this country over the years, for budgetary reasons.”
He added, “These are people that need to be in institutions.”
CLIP: From yesterday, President Trump answers questions on gun control, mental health and background checks.
— CSPAN (@cspan) August 19, 2019
President Trump’s apparent reversal on Red Flag Laws surely comes to the chagrin of Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas), who essentially called Republican critics of the gun confiscation legislation emotional and uninformed after receiving backlash.
“What came out of [my endorsement] instead was hate filled comments, lots of emotion, a lot of anger, a lot of memes,” said Crenshaw. “The point is that clearly even the words Red Flag Law just emotionally triggered a lot of people, made you guys really mad at me.”
Crenshaw then insulted those who previously supported him, saying “Clearly when we say Red Flag Laws, you guys stop listening. You can’t hear what we’re suggesting.”
The Texas representative went on to explain that, somehow, his version of Red Flag Laws would not come with the egregious lack of due process as the Red Flag Laws that already exist in 17 states.
National File also reported on Gary Willis, who is believed to be the first casualty of Red Flag Laws. He was killed in an altercation with police when they attempted to confiscate his weapons.
President Trump and Congressional Republicans are also under fire from state legislators, including 26 from South Dakota who signed a letter urging the administration to abandon all consideration of Red Flag Laws.