The Lone Star State experienced a terrorist attack this weekend, and the state’s GOP wants to talk about therapy. That’s like bringing a Swiss Army knife to a sword fight.
“Mental health is a large contributor to any type of violence or shooting violence,” Gov. Greg Abbott said following the attack. President Trump blamed “mental illness” for the El Paso and Ohio massacres.
Improving mental health in Texas is no doubt needed, but is not the solution to terrorism. The FBI is investigating the El Paso mass murder as domestic terrorism.
“Violence committed by white men inspired by an extremist ideology make up a growing number of domestic terrorism cases, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” reported the Wall Street Journal on Sunday.
White nationalists are prevalent in the Lone Star State, according to a heat map by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Did Texas Republicans and past American presidents encourage greater mental health services for international terrorists? Hardly. It was a full-court press for stronger security, better intelligence gathering (read: prevention of violence in the first place), and a rooting out of the terrorists.
El Paso now becomes one of several mass shootings to occur in Texas in recent years, including the Santa Fe High shooting last year that left 10 dead and the Sutherland Springs church shooting in 2017 that took 26 lives.
After the Santa Fe shooting, Sen. John Cornyn pinned much of the blame for the violence on mental illness. “It mainly has something to do with who’s pulling the trigger and people with mental health and mental health crises…”
Maybe Texas should invest in more psychiatrists. Better yet, the state — and the Trump Administration —could go root out the terrorists before they strike again.
Photo: MARK LAMBIE/EL PASO TIMES