On Monday’s episode of “The Michael Knowles Show,” Knowles argues that the source of the mass shooting epidemic is mental illness and suggests that the country needs to change its position on how it manages the problem. Video and partial transcript below:
President Trump then gets to the heart of the matter on the solution. This is really correct. He’s talking about mental health:
TRUMP: Third, we must reform our mental health laws to better identify mentally disturbed individuals who may commit acts of violence. We must make sure those people not only get treatment but, when necessary, involuntary confinement for mental illness. Hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun.
There it is, that’s the key. Involuntary confinement, involuntary commitment of the mentally ill. Today this is taboo on both sides. The Left doesn’t want to do it because the Left is completely insane, and the Left doesn’t really believe in the concept of mental illness. They sort of celebrate mental illness. They say, “Let’s all talk about our mental illness, we’re all mentally ill.” The Right doesn’t want to talk about it because we don’t want to give the government that much power, to involuntarily commit people.
But this is the key. Today it is virtually impossible to do it but in the 1950s — we had a peak high of mentally ill confined people. Then states began to empty the asylums in the 1960s. Actually, Ronald Reagan, of all people, helped that process along. He didn’t begin the process, but he did help it along when he was governor of California.
We need to be able to do it. I mean a huge proportion of these people have clear signs of mental illness, if not all of them. And we need to be able to take them off of the streets. President Trump makes this great point, which is that guns don’t kill people, mentally ill people kill people. That’s if the mental illness is the psychological process that leads to the decision to pull that trigger. The trigger doesn’t just pull itself, and … it is not fair, it is not sustainable, to allow dangers to society to be on the street.
We do it because of a false sense of freedom. Because we think freedom just means anything goes. It doesn’t. People who are mentally ill are not capable of freedom. Actually, people who are totally uneducated, totally uncultured, totally disengaged from their civilization, also are not capable of their freedom. The Founding Fathers and the people who have constructed our republic had a very elevated view of freedom. You had to earn your freedom. You had to become fit to govern yourself. You had to be moral. You had to be virtuous. You had to be religious. You had to be educated. You have to be sane, in order to have some freedom, and if not, then it’s not that that liberty will be taken from you, it’s that you are not capable of that liberty in the first place.
So, that would be a good place to start, building some more mental asylums and throwing people who are a danger to society in them, [and] getting them drugs. One of the reasons why they emptied out in the 1960s and ’70s is because we had all these good psychological drugs now, and we could cure people. So, if someone had some mental illness, they’d take a drug, and it seemed like they were cured. So, we would let them out of the asylum, and then what happens instantly? They stop taking the drugs. They wind up on the street or they wind up to be a threat to others. That’s one way to do it. And then President Trump hits with great moral clarity on what we should do about the killer now.
TRUMP: Today, I’m also directing the Department of Justice to propose legislation ensuring that those who commit — hate crimes and mass murders — face the death penalty, and that this capital punishment be delivered quickly, decisively, and without years of needless delay.
Yup, Trump has a lot of moral clarity on this issue. So, one of the guys who shot up the bar in Ohio, he was killed.
But the guy who shot up the El Paso, Texas mall was not killed. He was apprehended and he should face the death penalty, and he should face the death penalty swiftly. You’ve got to remember, I know it’s unpopular these days, there are three purposes of capital punishment: retribution, deterrence, and rehabilitation. Now, rehabilitation doesn’t seem like it factors in a whole lot in terms of capital punishment. It actually does have a role in capital punishment, in the sense that it can reform one’s mind, as he prepares to meet his maker and face the gallows…
Retribution is the key. An injustice has been committed. And for that injustice, the civil authority exacts justice, for which we have a civil criminal justice system. The criminal has to be punished just for committing the crime, and then there’s the deterrence factor. So, capital punishment isn’t a great deterrent now, when we have 30- or 40-year waiting periods to kill people. We need to enact the exact justice rather swiftly. We need to do it quickly that will increase the deterrent effect.