Trump Ended Rule That Would Have Blocked Florida Shooter From Getting Gun
In an effort to deflect responsibility for enabling gun violence, President Donald Trump and his gun-loving cronies have often pointed to mental illness as the underlying cause for mass shootings, but one of Trump’s earliest actions as president was to repeal an Obama-era rule that would have blocked mentally ill people from buying guns.
Nearly a year ago, at the urging of the National Rifle Association, Trump signed H.J. Res. 40, effectively ending the Social Security Administration’s requirement to enter the names of people who receive mental health benefits into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. This is the database used by the FBI to determine who is able to purchase firearms.
Following the deadly mass shooting in Florida, Trump tweeted that the shooter involved in Parkland High School tragedy showed signs of being “mentally disturbed,” and urge Americans to be more vigilant about people with mental illness to prevent school shootings.
“So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!” the president wrote.
So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 15, 2018
In November, President Trump also cited mental health as the reason for the Sutherland Springs, Texas, church shooting that left 26 people dead.
“Mental health is your problem here. This was a very, based on preliminary reports, a very deranged individual, a lot of problems over a long period of time. We have a lot of mental health problems in our country, as do other countries. But this isn’t a guns situation,” President Trump said at the time.
GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said at the time that “if a specific individual is likely to be violent due to the nature of their mental illness, then the government should have to prove it,” the NPR reported.
The rule was a response to the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in which 20-year-old maniac Adam Lanza fatally shot 20 students and six teachers.
The White House did nto respond to a request for comment.