Senator Ron Johnson expressed his views on the United States’ approach to mental health following the recent mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine, during an interview on Newsmax’s “The Chris Salcedo Show.”
He emphasized the need for a better approach to mental health and raised concerns about the types of drugs prescribed in such situations, linking them to the country’s “drugged-up culture” and its impact on mental health.
Johnson referenced the Maine shooting suspect, Robert Card, who had a history of mental health issues, including paranoia. Card, a trained firearms instructor, had previously threatened violence and was briefly committed to a mental health facility.
In response to a question about Americans arming themselves for protection, Johnson noted the increase in gun and ammunition purchases. He criticized the media for not covering this incident more extensively, arguing that it doesn’t fit their preferred narrative.
Johnson claimed that existing gun control laws are ineffective and opposed additional gun control measures, pointing out that there are already numerous laws in place.
Discussions about gun violence often wrongly implicate mental illness despite evidence showing that individuals with mental health conditions do not commit most violence. Such claims reinforce harmful stigmas and shift focus away from the core issues. The reality is that the vast majority of people with mental health conditions are not violent, and these conditions are not a significant factor in gun violence. Research indicates that mental illness accounts for a tiny percentage of all violent acts.
The risk factors for gun violence are more closely associated with a history of violence, including domestic abuse, substance abuse, demographic factors like age and gender, and experiences of abuse or trauma. Mental illness, in isolation, is not a reliable indicator of violent behavior.
It’s essential to ensure that our reaction to gun tragedies doesn’t dissuade individuals with mental health issues from seeking the help they need. Misinformation about mental illness and violence not only hurts those affected by mental health conditions but also distracts from addressing the true causes of gun violence.