John Oliver Slams GOP Candidates Who Blamed Oregon Shooting on Mental Health Issues
Following the mass shooting, John Oliver took GOP candidates to task for not citing gun control but mental illness as a cause for the massacres.
On Sunday’s edition of Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver slammed GOP candidates for citing mental health issues after the shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon.
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Following the shooting on Thursday morning, Donald Trump cited mental health issues, rather than guns, as the reason why America has a shooting epidemic.
"Absolutely a terrible tragedy," he told the Washington Post. "It sounds like another mental health problem. So many of these people, they're coming out of the woodwork."
On his show on Sunday night, Oliver rejected the idea.
He said: “The aftermath of a mass shooting might actually be the worst time to talk about mental health. Because, for the record, the vast majority of mentally ill people are non-violent. And the vast majority of gun violence is committed by non-mentally ill people.”
Oliver played clips of Trump, Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson, and Bush citing mental health, not gun control as the issue. He also shared historical facts and figures and mentioned that prisons are the largest provider of mental health care in the country.
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The host said: "Perhaps the clearest sign of how little we want to talk about mental health is that one of the only times it’s brought up is, as we’ve seen yet again this week, in the aftermath of a mass shooting, as a means of steering the conversation away from gun control. It seems there is nothing like a mass shooting to suddenly spark political interest mental health.”
Oliver the concluded: “If we’re going to constantly use mentally ill people to dodge conversations about gun control, then the very least we owe them is a f**** plan."
Republican candidate Jeb Bush also came under fire for his response to the shooting last week.
He also said: “What we end up doing lots of times is we create rules on the 99.999% of human activity that had nothing to do with the tragedy that had forced the conversation about doing something. Stuff happens, there's always a crisis and the impulse is always to do something and it's not necessarily the right thing to do.”
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