During an appearance on “Fox News Sunday” this week, Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) argued that improving access to mental health services was the “long-term solution” to preventing further tragedies like Saturday’s killing in Allen.
“As soon as one of these shootings happens, the talk goes to politics and how to change laws about guns,” the show’s presenter, Shannon Bream, said. One senator blamed you and the Republican Party in Texas for the state’s lax gun laws. More than eighty percent of respondents to a recent poll supported measures to increase gun control, including universal background checks, keeping existing laws in place, raising the legal age to 21, mandating mental health examinations, and placing people on a registry if they are a risk to themselves or others. Is this the kind of thing you’d consider in Texas, or something you believe Congress ought to consider on a national level?
As Abbott put it, “This is something we’ve been working on at the state level for the past year, and there are some possible straightforward answers, like enacting legislation that we’re working on right now to deter dangerous criminals from acquiring weapons and to make it difficult for criminals to have guns. There has been an increase in murder rates in both blue and red states over the past year or two.
To elaborate, he said, “I think California, which has very strict gun laws and where 11 people have died this year, is the state where the most people have died.” Thus, it is evident that hostility and violence in the United States have worsened significantly.
According to Abbott, “What Texas is doing in a big way is working to stop this anger and violence by addressing the mental health problems that are at the root of it.”
He concluded by saying, “People want a quick remedy. Solving the mental health crisis is the only viable long-term strategy.