The deadly school shooting in south Florida Wednesday gave the mainstream media license to focus on gun control, naturally, but talking points expanded to include the mental health of suspects.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper turned the spotlight on the issue after endless pontificating by panel guests on the issue of gun control following the horrific event at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School where 17 people were killed by a 19-year-old former student.
“The governor is willing to talk about mental health, that seems to be something that politically is okay to talk about, but guns certainly right now is not,” Cooper said Wednesday, referring to Florida Governor Rick Scott’s remarks at a news conference in Parkland, Fla.
“There’s a time to continue to have these conversations about how through law enforcement, how through mental illness funding that we make sure that people are safe,” Scott said.
Reporter: After Florida school shooting, will you take a stand on mental health and gun control?
— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 15, 2018
Cooper turned the discussion over to CNN counterterrorism analyst, Philip Mudd, to address the mental health debate.
“There are a couple of things he should be talking about. He talked about mental health. Let me lay my cards on the table, Anderson,” the former FBI senior intelligence officer began.
“If you go into a mental health professional and seek treatment because you’ve got mental health issues, I believe — and I know 90 percent of the audience is going to disagree with me — that mental health professional should be required to report that, and that person who has mental health problems should not have a weapon,” Mudd said.
“Let me give you a simpler proposition. I own a farm, Anderson. 260 acres in rural Virginia. I’ve got a ton of venison in my freezer. That venison was shot by a rifle. That was not shot by a semiautomatic, by an AR-15. You should not in this country be able to have — you can have a .22. You shouldn’t have an AR-15,” he continued.
Mudd summarized his argument, restating that health professionals should be required to report individuals who have mental health issues and own firearms, despite arguments about privacy and that this would discourage some from seeking treatment.
“Those are my two propositions. You can’t have a semiautomatic rifle, and you can’t, if you have mental health issues, be allowed to have a weapon, and your mental health professional should be required to report it,” Mudd declared.
“I don’t care if people say that will limit those who go in and seek treatment,” he added. “That’s a problem, I agree. But they should not have a weapon. That’s it.”
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