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President Trump blames violent video games for mass shootings; mental health experts disagree

(WAOW) — President Donald Trump spoke out after the massacres this past weekend, citing mental illness as a possible reason for the violent acts.

“Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun,” he said.

President Trump also threw the blame of the El Paso and Dayton shootings on animated violence.

“We must stop the glorification of violence in our society; this includes gruesome video games that are commonplace. It is too easy for troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that celebrates violence,” President Trump said.

However, mental heath experts say that isn’t true.

“To make the jump, then saying that, is the real influence in mass shootings that we haven’t seen yet,” said clinical psychologist Brian Weiland.

Weiland said violent video games can agitate people, but there is something deeper within someone that would trigger them to commit such an act.

“Anybody who commits an act like this, there is something going on in their mind that is atypical,” Weiland said.

Weiland says the silent signs are everywhere.

“They do need a little more attention. Somebody starts to withdraw from society a bit, we need to ask if they are OK,” said Weiland.”If there was less stigma around mental health, maybe these people who committed the crimes would have gotten the help because they felt it was OK to reach out.”

Weiland said mental health should not be such a stigma, adding that most people suffering from mental health issues aren’t violent.

He said a good way to predict future violence is to look at past violence.

President Trump also said the internet and social media play a role in mass shootings, and is calling on the nation to strengthen mental health laws.

Victoria Saha

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