It’s not guns, it’s mental health: Sure

americaThe fallback position for the NRA and its paid-for shills in Congress and the White House whenever there is a mass shooting is, it’s not guns, it’s mental health.

OK, so let’s examine that one all the way through.

The same paid-for shills just voted to gut the Affordable Care Act, which the Congressional Budget Office says will throw 13 million people to the ranks of the uninsured over the next decade, which is awesome, right, on top of the 3.2 million newly uninsured in the first year of the Trump presidency?

So, we’re talking 30 million currently uninsured, headed toward 40 million soon, and those numbers don’t count those who are underinsured, with plans that don’t offer protections keeping them from facing bankruptcy if they require long-term care.

Those numbers also don’t count the tens of millions of working Americans who don’t have access to paid sick leave. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that’s an additional 45 million, 28 percent of the civilian workforce, and if you’re wondering why this year’s flu epidemic was able to get so far out of control, there’s your reason why.

People have to go to work when they’re sick with the flu. People also have to go to work when they’re battling mental-health issues.

You can’t afford not to, right?

So, you have millions working through their battles with mental-health issues, millions more who don’t have health coverage to help them even if they could afford to take time off from work.

My wife is a suicide-prevention advocate. I’ve been with her on visits with family members of people who have attempted trying to get their loved ones to seek care, whose loved ones say, I’d really like to, but I have to be at work tomorrow morning, and if I lose my job, I lose everything.

Now, back to the NRA, its shills, and their deflection that our issue with mass shootings isn’t about guns, it’s about mental health.

I’d love it if this country took healthcare seriously, like the rest of the industrialized world takes it seriously. If we were to go single-payer, if we were to require employers nationwide to offer paid sick leave, then we could say we were in a position to help the millions of Americans who have mental-health issues that need addressing.

We’re nowhere near in a position to be able to say we can do that. Millions of people battling depression and myriad other mental-health issues while also facing economic distress have nowhere to turn to.

Every few days in today’s America, one cracks under the pressures and shoots up a school or workplace. And every few days in today’s America, the NRA and its paid-for shills tell us it’s not guns, it’s mental health, and we cower and do nothing about either.

Story by Chris Graham