Senator Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, says failed attempts by Congress to limit 2nd Amendment rights were wrong not only in policy, but also in focus.
"The appropriate reaction is to focus on the causes of violence in our society, and to take the necessary actions to identify and treat mental illness,” he says.
So, the Senator is joining a bi-partisan effort to continue funding a program that trains officers to recognize mental illness in prisoners.
He says the focus on mental health tackles the real problem behind crime in our country, and it will mean resources in our prison systems are better utilized.
"There are savings in the approach that we are talking about, because of the inefficient and frankly ineffective ways that we are dealing with the issue today," says Sen. Crapo.
But the total cost of the bill is $40 million nationwide, a $10 million decrease from current funding.
The majority of responsibility of dealing with mental health issues lands on the state, and state lawmakers say they too plan to focus more on mental health in the coming year - by trying to shift money to mental health management - money they say is already in the health and welfare budget.
"Somewhere in that $3 billion, I am confident that we can parse out some money that can go into the communities,” says Meridian Senator Marv Hagedorn, “to get some community help to recognize behavioral issues before they become a problem."
We've heard variations of this one before, starting of course with La Pierre's official NRA announcements.
The obvious fact is this is nothing more than obfuscation and diversion. They keep talking as if it's a given that we can EITHER work on gun control OR work on mental illness. That's the lie. There's no reason we can't work on both, and the fact that mental health plays a major role in violent crime is certainly no reason to make it easy for unfit people to get guns.
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.