Earlier this week, on Monday, President Donald Trump spoke about the recent mass shootings that occurred in El Paso and Dayton, which resulted in the loss of life of over 30 individuals, with dozens more injured.
Trump addressed the nation about the tragedies, and said the blame could be laid on mental health difficulties the shooters faced, as well as violent video games, per a readout of his remarks from the White House website.
On the latter issue, Trump said, “We must stop the glorification of violence in our society. This includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace.
And on mental health, Trump was more direct in his opinion that it was an issue driving gun violence.
“Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun,” he said.
Yet Trump’s remarks do not reflect realities, says one former FBI profiler.
Speaking to CBS News in a podcast that was published on Friday morning, Mary Ellen O’Toole, who also presently serves as the program director of the Forensic Science Department at George Mason University, said Trump’s comments showcase his ignorance on the issue.
“The gun doesn’t pull the trigger, a sick mind pulls the trigger.”
Trump calls gun violence “a big mental illness problem” pic.twitter.com/HbKAAxHCjl
— Bloomberg TicToc (@tictoc) August 9, 2019
“The president has absolutely no expertise and background to understand how this kind of violence begins and how it evolves,” O’Toole said.
O’Toole disagreed that violent video games cause people to act violently in such a way as was seen last weekend. Most researchers agree, finding that no link exists between violent video games and the violent actions of people who play them, the New York Times reported.
The former FBI profiler also took Trump to task for suggesting mental illness was an issue in the gun debate.
“These crimes cannot be attributed to mental health as the reason, because again, people who do genuinely suffer from mental health are not responsible for these shootings,” she said.
O’Toole added that less than 25 percent of mass shooters have been identified as having a clinical diagnosis of mental illness.