President Donald Trump eyes mental institutions as answer to gun violence
Washington: When shots rang out last year at a high school in Parkland, Florida, leaving 17 people dead, President Donald Trump quickly turned his thoughts to creating more mental institutions.
When back-to-back mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, jolted the nation earlier this month, Trump again spoke of "building new facilities" for the mentally ill as a way to reduce mass shootings.
"We don't have those institutions anymore and people can't get proper care," Trump lamented at a New Hampshire campaign rally not long after the latest shootings.
Now, in response to Trump's concerns, White House
staff members are looking for ways to incorporate the president's desire for more institutions into a long list of other measures aimed at reducing gun violence.
It's the latest example of White House policy aides scrambling to come up with concrete policies or proposals to fill out ideas tossed out by the president. And it's an idea that mental health professionals say reflects outdated thinking on the treatment of mental illness.
Trump sometimes harks back to his earlier years in New York to explain his thinking on preventing future
mass shootings. He recently recalled to reporters how mentally ill people ended up on the streets and in jails in New York after the state closed large psychiatric hospitals in the 1960s and 1970s.