“Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun,” said President Trump.
A sentiment shared by President Trump explained the need for change and update of our current mental health laws. He says more effort must be put on identifying and treating people who face mental health issues.
“Better identify mentally disturbed individuals who may commit acts of violence and make sure those people not only get treatment but when necessary, involuntary confinement,” said President Trump.
The en-action of the Red Flag Law is one of the main points he touched on during his 10-minute speech.
“We must make sure that those judged to pose a grave risk to public safety do not have access to firearms and that if they do, those firearms can be taken through rapid due process,” said President Trump.
Smith County Sheriff, Larry Smith, says as long as due process is followed, he would be on board with the changes.
“When that judge hits the gavel down and says you’re mentally defective, that’s when you should lose your firearms rights and not before due process,” said Sheriff Smith.
While it’s unclear if the El Paso shooter had a history of mental illness, state experts say Texas is in need of help.
“Texas ranks one of the highest in the need for mental health,” said Kari Kennel, a registered nurse.
Here in Smith County, health experts say awareness is key when trying to prevent the stigma surrounding mental health issues.
“I think it’s really important that we raise people’s awareness to this issue and make people more comfortable talking about it,” said Brandon Davidson, a therapist.