In the wake of the mass shooting at the July 4 parade in Highland Park, Illinois, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell did not explicitly say Congress should do more to address gun violence, instead saying that the recently passed bipartisan gun legislation has “targeted the problem,” which he said is mental health.
“I think yesterday’s shooting is another example of what the problem is. The problem is mental health and these young men who seem to be inspired to commit these atrocities. So, I think the bill that we passed targeted the problem. In that particular instance, it was school safety and mental health," McConnell said.
"We have got to figure out some way to identify these troubled young men, and it’s very complicated because after every one of these shootings there are people that say, ‘Oh, I thought he was pretty strange, I wish I’d notified somebody about it.’ One of the things we did in our bill, although the shooter yesterday was , we did open up the juvenile records to do background checks and hopefully that will help us do a better job of identifying people who have these mental problems before they carry out these awful atrocities,” he added
More context: Studies show, however, that people with severe mental illnesses are more than 10 times more likely to be victims of violent crime than the general population and only about 3% to 5% of violent acts can be attributed to serious mental illness, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services.
In his prepared remarks at the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce Public Policy Luncheon in Paducah, Kentucky, on Tuesday, McConnell generally referenced recent shootings and the new bipartisan gun legislation, but didn’t specifically speak to the shooting in Highland Park.
“Recently, in the wake of all of these shootings, I joined both sides in the Senate in passing a bill related to school safety and mental illness,” he said in a speech, “while at the same time not infringing upon anybody's Second Amendment rights.”
He did address the Illinois parade shooting when asked by a reporter after his speech.