• Michelle Hebert

Trump calls recent shooting 'mental health problem'

On Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, Donald Trump was asked in a conference in Tokyo, Japan if he thinks gun control measures should happen in response to the church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Tex., which left 26 people dead. Trump said the shooting was caused by the suspect’s mental health problems, not a problem with gun laws, according to multiple sources.

“I think that mental health is your problem here,” Trump said, according to the Washington Post. “Based on preliminary reports, a very deranged individual, a lot of problems for a long period of time.” As of Nov. 6, 2017, the entire mental state of the suspect, 26-year-old Devin Kelley, has not been determined.

In response to this latest shooting, Trump said that he did not want to discuss new gun control laws. Last month after the Las Vegas shooting, Trump also stated that he did not want to discuss gun control laws at the time, according to CNN.

After the Las Vegas shooting, which happened on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, Trump described the shooter, Stephen Paddock, in a similar way. Trump described Paddock as a “very sick man” and a “very demented person,” the Washington Post reported.

The American Psychological Association (APA) criticized Trump’s viewpoint of the recent mass shooting as a mental health problem. The Association’s President, Antonio E. Puente, stated, "Calling this shooting a ‘mental health problem’ distracts our nation’s leaders from developing policies and legislation that would focus on preventing gun violence through a scientific, public health approach,” according to the Hill.