Bret Stephens on Texas: Mental Health Isn’t the Issue, It’s ‘Access’ to Powerful Weapons

‘Well, the idea that it’s a mental health issue is particularly misplaced’


STEPHENS: “Well, the idea that it’s a mental health issue is particularly misplaced. It’s something I hear many of my conservative friends say, but the reality is that the shooter in Las Vegas, who took 58, 59 lives, would never have been diagnosed as mentally ill. All the evidence suggests that there was no mental illness. Same case in the shooter in the Steve Scalise case over the summer. There wasn’t real evidence that this is a guy who would have risen to a threshold of being diagnosed as mentally ill. So the reality is, and by the way, there are millions of people who have mental health issues who would never do anything of the sort. So the overlap between the — people with mental illness and shooters isn’t there. The only real connection is the access of people, mentally ill or not, to weapons that are capable in very short order of taking out 7 percent of the town in yesterday’s case and having access to those weapons. Easier access to them than getting a driver’s license, than getting a beautician’s license."

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