Rep. Thompson’s Statement on President’s Reaction to Texas Shooting
Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Mike Thompson (CA-05) released this statement following the President’s remarks about Sunday’s mass shooting at a Texas church:
“In response to the horrific mass shooting at a Texas church on Sunday, President Trump said it wasn’t a ‘guns situation,’ but a ‘mental health’ problem. While the prevalence of gun violence in our country is much more complicated than that, the President has done nothing to bolster mental health treatment, quite the opposite—he’s undermined mental health services at every turn. He is working to repeal the Affordable Care Act which covers mental health treatment, he has called for drastic cuts to mental health services in his budget, and he’s signed legislation that prevents the Social Security Administration from reporting information about mentally incompetent beneficiaries into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). It’s disgraceful that he would use this argument to dodge a substantive, national conversation about what we can do to help prevent gun violence in our neighborhoods.
“If the President is serious about keeping guns out of the hands of the dangerously mentally ill, I urge him to call on House Republicans to take up the bipartisan bill I introduced last week to do just that. The Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act of 2017 that I introduced with Republican Congressman Peter King, would expand background checks to help stop criminals, domestic abusers, and the dangerously mentally ill from purchasing a gun. Background checks work. Every day, more than 170 felons, some 50 domestic abusers, and nearly 20 fugitives are stopped from purchasing a gun. This legislation would strengthen that system and keep guns out of the wrong hands.
“House Republicans can also bring to the floor, the Safer Communities Act, legislation I have introduced that would strengthen and improve mental health intervention efforts, close gaps in current federal law allowing dangerously mentally ill individuals to possess firearms, and allow the CDC to conduct gun violence research.
“While we mourn the loss of the Texans brutally gunned down in their house of worship—many of whom were children—we cannot wait another day to do something to help stop future tragedies like this.”