Perspectives On Gun Violence: Mass Shootings Are Not ‘Inevitable’; It Is ‘A Mental Health Issue’

Syndicated from Kaiser Health News

As police and FBI investigators try to determine the motive for yet another mass shooting, most often the assailant is mentally deranged and/or politically motivated by a cause or belief such as Islamic terrorists who often yell “Allah Akbar”, (God is great)during or before their rampage.

The past two mass shootings only a month apart were not politically motivated, but apparently, are related to mental instability. The Las Vegas shooter who slaughtered 58 people from his Mandalay Bay hotel room reportedly lost a lot of money recently, likely due to his gambling addiction. While the actual motive for his violent act hasn’t been officially determined, it appears he was becoming unhinged through his addiction and angered at the loss of money. While he may not have officially been diagnosed as mentally ill, he obviously had an addictive personality and lacked anger control. 

The Texas shooter had a violent past from domestic violence to animal abuse. Today officials report that he had also escaped a mental facility in 2012 and was reported as a danger to himself and others. They also reported that he tried to sneak weapons onto the airforce base and threatened his commanding officers. What became of him escaping isn’t clear but apparently, he was able to remarry and illegally acquire four weapons over the past four years, following his escape, his court-martial and year incarceration for fracturing his stepson’s skull and abusing his ex-wife. 

Below is a more detailed summary of some of the red flags that were missed, as reported by Ben Shapiro of The Daily Wire.

After the Sutherland Springs, Texas, mass shooting, the press immediately leapt to conclusions about gun control. But they should have been seeking rationale for 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley’s actions in a series of red flags that were, in retrospect, obvious to anyone. Here’s the list:

1. He Tried To Date Underage Girls. Very Underage Girls. According to The New York Post, Kelley dated a 13-year-old when he was 18 and later reportedly “suggested she live with him and his wife as a topless maid.” That then-13-year-old also claimed that Kelley essentially stalked her.

2. He Was Court Martialed For Domestic Violence. More specifically, Kelley reportedly was convicted for fracturing the skull of his infant stepson and assaulting his then-wife. She divorced him; he remarried.

3. He Was Arrested For Animal Cruelty. According to El Paso County Sheriff’s Office records, Kelley was arrested at a Colorado Springs RV park for punching a dog, throwing it, and dragging it. He was given probation after an hour-long standoff with police resulted in his arrest.

4. He Threatened His Mother-In-Law. He was apparently on the outs with his wife, and he had exchanged threatening texts with his mother-in-law. His mother-in-law attended the church where Kelley conducted the massacre.

Kaiser Health News offers a summation of several different perspectives as to why gun violence continues to increase in the US. Again, some think it’s because we need more gun laws and others think it’s due to mental illness.

The New York Times:
Mass Shootings Don’t Have To Be Inevitable

There is an agonizing predictability to the mass shootings that regularly horrify the nation. The latest, in which 26 churchgoers were shot to death at Sunday worship in Texas, offered all the most cruel and terrifying characteristics. It was carried out by a disturbed individual with easy access to assault weapons adapted from military warfare and marketed in the spurious name of sportsmanship. (11/6)

USA Today:
Trump’s Right, This Is A Mental Health Issue

President Trump’s suggestion that the tragedy in Texas is a mental health issue rather than a gun issue deserves more than an arrogant dismissal by gun control proponents. There are roughly 90 million gun owners in the U.S. who responsibly own firearms of all kinds. They didn’t harm anybody on Sunday, and indeed one of those citizens courageously grabbed his own rifle and opened fire on the killer, causing him to drop his rifle and flee the scene. We have tried numerous restrictive gun control measures, and none has lived up to sales pitches about preventing violence. (Alan M. Gottlieb, 11/6)

The Washington Post:
Yes, President Trump, It’s A Guns Situation

“You never expect something like this,” said one official about Sunday’s mass shooting in the small Texas community of Sutherland Springs. “Unimaginable,” said a man whose parents were among the 26 people killed, along with a pregnant woman, an 18-month-old baby and a 14-year-old girl. Among the awful truths of what happened Sunday morning in a place where no one locks their doors is that gun violence is not unimaginable anywhere in this country. Mass shootings have become commonplace, and shootings far more so: Guns kill more than 30,000 people every year and injure roughly 80,000 more. Just as there was a last time (an outdoor musical festival a little more than a month ago in Las Vegas) and a this time (a rural Texas church), there will surely be a next time unless national lawmakers come to grips with the problem and take meaningful steps to stem the obscene and unfettered access to weapons of war. (11/6)

In the end, several red flags were ignored throughout the years, including reports that Devin Kelley threatened to kill his chain of command while in the air force. Why he wasn’t court-martialed for this I don’t know, but it may have been after he was dishonorably discharged for domestic abuse. However, some news reports say it was while he was still in the airforce. Sadly the failure to report him to the national database to ban guns and the failure to put him back in a mental facility ended up as a deadly mistake. 

What do you think? Is mental illness the main cause of mass shootings or the lack of more gun control laws?

Additional commentary provided by Patricia Garza, Founder and Editor of Littlebytesnews.com

Some stories produced by Kaiser Health News, which publishes California Healthline, an editorially independent service of the California Health Care Foundation. Kaiser Health News, a nonprofit health newsroom whose stories appear in news outlets nationwide, is an editorially independent part of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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