John Oliver Slams Republicans Who Only Discuss Mental Health to Actively Avoid Gun Control


In the wake of Thursday’s mass shooting at a community college in Oregon, many Republicans were quick to dismiss renewed calls for increased gun safety measures, in favor of discussing the need for a stronger mental health care system. 

On Sunday, John Oliver agreed that mental health is a topic Americans need to properly address. But as he explained on the latest Last Week Tonight, broaching mental health issues in the aftermath of a mass shooting is more often than not a political strategy used to simply reroute the conversation away from gun control.

“It seems like there is nothing like a mass shooting to suddenly spark political interest in mental health,” Oliver said, while featuring the talking points of Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and Mike Huckabee—all of whom steered away from discussing increased gun control legislation after the shooting in Oregon, to tout the need for better mental health programs.

In reality, this is dangerously problematic because, as Oliver explains, “the vast majority of mentally ill people are nonviolent, and the vast majority of gun violence is committed by non-mentally-ill people.”

But if Republicans are only willing to talk about treating mentally ill people following mass shootings, so be it: Then at the “very least we owe them a fucking plan,” Oliver said.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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