Texas Governor Blames Mass Shootings On Mental Health Despite Cutting Millions In Mental Health Funding
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Texas' Governor has attributed mass shootings to problems with mental health and not gun access, despite recently slashing significant funding to mental health services.
Greg Abbott double-downed on his mental health stance just days after the Uvalde, Texas shooting at Robb Elementary where 19 students and two adults were killed by an 18-year-old gunman.
During a press conference at the school, Abbott said: “We as a state - we as a society - need to do a better job with mental health. Anybody who shoots somebody else has a mental health challenge. Period.
Greg Abbott is booed as he arrives at the memorial outside Uvalde Elementary. From @ScooterCasterNY pic.twitter.com/nUznJlua3a— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) May 29, 2022
“We as a government need to find a way to target that mental health challenge and do something about it.”
Strong statements coming from a man who slashed nearly $211 million (£167m) from Texas state spending on the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), according to KSAT.
The HHSC oversees mental health services in the state.
Unsurprisingly, the Texas Governor diverted funds to send the National Guard to the Texas-Mexico border, for Operation Lone Star.
According to the 2021 State of Mental Health in American report, Texas ranked last out of all 50 states for overall access to mental health care.
Governor Abbott's comments at the press conference angered his Democratic opponent Beto O’Rourke, who stormed the conference and told the Republican ‘It’s on you!’
O’Rourke approached Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and told them: “The time to stop the next shooting is now, and you are doing nothing.”
He added: “You are offering up nothing. You said this was not predictable. This was totally predictable when you choose not to do anything.”
"It's on you."— The Recount (@therecount) May 25, 2022
In a striking moment, Texas gubernatorial candidate @BetoORourke interrupts Gov. Greg Abbott's press conference about the Uvalde shooting. pic.twitter.com/jINIAave6Y
O’Rourke was called a ‘sick son of a b***h’ by Dan Patrick for turning the issue political.
While Abbott conceded that 18-year-old Salvador Ramos had no previous known mental health issues or criminal history, he stayed steadfast that stronger gun laws would not have prevented the tragedy.
Abbott’s comments on mental health came after Senator Chris Murphy from Connecticut called out his counterparts for deflecting the blame from gun control in the country.
Sen. Chris Murphy delivers remarks on Uvalde, Texas elementary school shooting: “What are we doing? What are we doing?…This only happens in this country and nowhere else. Nowhere else do little kids go to school thinking that they might be shot that day." https://t.co/Zh3OvUaIwm pic.twitter.com/TjJVoaFbRN— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) May 24, 2022
He told his Republican colleagues: “Spare me the b******t about mental illness.
"We don’t have any more mental illness than any other country in the world.
“You cannot explain this through a prism of mental illness, because we don’t — we’re not an outlier on mental illness.”
Lori Post, director of the Buehler Center for Health Policy and Economics at the Northwestern University School of Medicine, told NBC News: “There is no evidence the shooter is mentally ill, just angry and hateful.
“While it is understandable that most people cannot fathom slaughtering small children and want to attribute it to mental health, it is very rare for a mass shooter to have a diagnosed mental health condition.”
Topics: Politics, US News, Greg Abbott, Crime, Texas