Preventing Another Mass Shooting

Rep Collins: It's Not Something We Can Stop

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Buffalo, N.Y. (WBEN) - A direct question to Congressman Chris Collins on WBEN. "Do you see Congress taking action on anything as a result of the Texas church shooting?"   And a direct answer "No. There are 330 million Americans and this is one who did what he did.  Suggesting that Congress could somehow stop this mentally ill individual from doing what he did, it is not something we could stop".  

Collins said this is a mental illness problem and called out those in the political spectrum who have suggested that the tragedy could have been prevented. "It is not a correct statement and it's taking the focus off the mental health issue". 

Statistics show 1 in 4 Americans suffer from some sort of mental illness.  "We need to keep our focus on it" said Collins.  "We've been putting more money into the Department of Mental Health as part of our 21st Century Cures bill. And as much as I would like to say that Congress can stop it, any rational person knows that is not the case".   

Ken Houseknecht, Executive Director of the Mental Health Association of Erie County said "it's shameful" that Congress is not going to do anything. "If this was a public health crisis in any area other than mental health, we would be rushing to address this.  This IS a public health crisis.  We don't need to wait until someone's mental health deteriorates to the point where they would even contemplate something like this.  We need more education, awareness, prevention, early detection and early intervention". 

Houseknecht said it's understood in the world of physical health.  Insurance companies and employers incentivize people to be physically well. They pay people to lose weight, quit smoking, and lower your cholesterol.  If you're physically healthy, it's better for you and better for society.  The same logic he said can be applied in the world of mental health. 

Click below for the full interviews with Congressman Chris Collins and Ken Houseknecht

Reaction to Texas Church Shooting - Congressman Chris Collins

TX Shooting Perspective - Ken Houseknecht; Exec. Dir; Mental Health Association of Erie County

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