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Trump attributes firearm massacres to mental illness and calls for more health institutions

August 16, 2019

MORRISTOWN, Aug 16 (Reuters / EP) –

The president of the United States, Donald Trump, said Thursday that he supports deep background checks on gun buyers, but has stressed that those responsible for the recent massacres with firearms are mentally ill and that the country should create more institutions of mental health.

Trump has said he has been talking to the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, and many other Republicans about the problem of gun violence and “they don't want crazy people, dangerous people, really bad people to have guns.”

“We don't want crazy people to own guns,” he stressed. “It's them. They pull the trigger. The gun doesn't pull the trigger. They pull the trigger. So we have to take mental illnesses seriously,” he said.

The president is under pressure to stop gun violence after the massacres in which dozens of people died this month in the states of Texas and Ohio. Trump has made his comments at the start of a trip from New Jersey to New Hampshire to participate in a campaign rally.

“We are seeing the situation of weapons as a whole,” Trump said when asked if he is pressuring Republicans to pass more rigorous background checks for gun buyers.

“I want people to remember the words mental illness. Those people are mentally ill … They are mentally ill and people have to start thinking about that. I think we have to start creating institutions again,” he insisted.

Trump has added that many mental institutions in the United States closed in the 1960s and 1970s and that his patients took to the streets.

“Much of our conversation is related to the fact that we have to open institutions … We cannot let these people be in the streets,” he said.