House Republicans Just Voted To Allow Severely Mentally Ill People To Buy Guns

House Republicans have voted 235-180 to overturn an Obama administration that blocked Social Security disability recipients with mental disorders from buying guns. Less than two weeks into Trump’s presidency and Republicans have given the mentally ill easier access to guns.

The Hill reported, “The House voted 235-180 to roll back an attempt by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to block disability recipients with mental disorders like schizophrenia and severe anxiety from owning guns. The rule required reporting people who receive disability benefits and have a mental health condition to the FBI’s background check system. But critics said the restrictions would have also applied to disability recipients who needed financial help managing their benefits.”

Here is the mostly party-line breakdown of the vote:

The names of the six Democrats who voted yes:

The role of mental illness in mass shootings has been a cause of debate. Conservative estimates suggest that at least 20% of mass shooters have a diagnosed mental illness. The problem in coming up with an accurate evaluation of the potential correlation between mass shootings and mental illness is that not all people who have a mental illness are diagnosed.

Even using the most conservative estimates of the number of mass shooters with mental illness, the removal of the rule is a very bad idea. Not all people who have a mental illness are capable of being a mass shooter, but it is hypocritical at a minimum for Republicans who blame every mass shooting in the US on mental illness to turn around and enable mentally ill individuals to buy guns.

In Donald Trump’s America, people with mental illnesses can have guns, and if they commit a criminal act with those guns, it will be the fault of the individual, not the Republican-controlled federal government that allowed them to have the gun.