This Country Has a Huge Mental Health Problem
I know that this next sentence will get a bunch of my followers up in arms, but I’m going to make the statement regardless. We don’t have a gun problem, we have a mental health problem, period.
A sane person doesn’t drive their car into a barricade at the U.S. Capitol building, and then jump out and start shooting into the air, and then commit suicide. (Source) A sane person does not go into a public school and murder a classroom full of innocent little kids (Source). And a sane person does not go into a grocery store and murder innocent people who were just minding their own business.
Little is known at this time about the U.S. Capitol shooter, Richard A. York III (29) from Delaware. (Source), but it doesn’t appear that he was targeting any particular person. The Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas shooter, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was seeking “notoriety and fame”, and was nicknamed “school shooter” by his friends. His behavior was violent, and he was known to make “over-the-top threats” on social media, lost a job in 2021 for threatening a female coworker and he was known by local police. And at 18 years old, he was able to legally purchase two AR-15-style rifles, as only handgun purchases are required to be reported to local police, not rifles.
The Buffalo, New York, Tops Friendly Market shooter, 18-year-old Payton S. Gendron, shot and killed 10 individuals as he live-streamed the entire event. His racially motivated attack was supposedly in retaliation for the 2021 Waukesha Christmas parade attack (the driver of the car that was driven into the crowd of parade spectators was black). Payton was able to pass the background check and legally purchase an AR-15-style rifle.
So far, I’m seeing two problems, one is that the background process is lacking and maybe we shouldn’t be selling guns to 18-year-olds. The other is mental health, which is the topic of this post. And we have the Waukesha Christmas parade attack which 39-year-old Darrell Edward Brooks Jr., drove his Ford Escape through barricades and into the parade crowd at 40 miles per hour, killing six and injuring another 62 people. The victims were either participating in the parade or observing it. This incident shows that bad people will do bad things. A sane person does not drive a vehicle into a crowd in a “zigzag pattern”, hitting 68 people, 17 of which were children. And this wasn’t the first time Darrell hit people with his vehicle or committed a crime. Just three weeks prior, he hit his ex-girlfriend with the same vehicle he used for the parade attack. See the problem yet?
It is believed that the driver acted alone and did not know anyone at the parade and it looks like this was an in-the-moment crime as he had just left the domestic disturbance incident minutes prior. The full motivation for this crime is not yet known. However, Brooks had a history of social media posts advocating for violence against white people and Jews. Brooks was reported to have posted the phrases “Hitler knew who the real Jews were” and “Hitler was right” on Facebook. During his amateur rap career, Brooks rapped about being a “terrorist” and a “killer in the city”. (Source) On February 11, 2022, Brooks pleaded not guilty to all charges. (Source).
Payton Gendron was supposedly motivated to carry out the supermarket attack, as retaliation for the Parade attack. Gendron didn’t know anyone in the supermarket and actually drove several hours to that location, which was supposedly a random location. Erie County Sheriff John Garcia said the shooting was a “straight up racially motivated hate crime from somebody outside of our community” (Source). Gendron stopped his vehicle in front of the store, stepped out of his car, and started shooting at people with dark skin, hitting four and killing three of those four people. He then entered the store shooting eight more people and killing six. The live stream video from his helmet camera shows that he aimed his gun at a white person, and apologized to that person, not pulling the trigger, but moving on. A total of sixty shots were fired during the five-minute rampage.
A sane person does not drive over 3 hours to commit a crime. If this was a crime of passion, he would have likely calmed down in those three hours. (Source). On his AR-15-style rifle, Payton wrote the names of the victims from the Waukesha Christmas parade attack.
Hell, just a few months ago (August 2022), there was a man who was attacked by a frying pan (multiple frying pans actually), but, nope, we don’t have a mental health problem, just a gun problem. (Source)
According to the CDC, More than 50% of Americans will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime. 1 in 5 Americans will experience a mental illness in a given year. 1 in 5 children, either currently or at some point during their life, have had a seriously debilitating mental illness. 1 in 25 Americans lives with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression. (Source)
Those numbers are staggering and clearly show that the United States has a mental health problem.