MTG Blames ‘Evil Forces,’ Not Guns, for Texas Shooting
In the immediate aftermath of the shooting in Allen, Texas, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) took to Twitter to blame anything but guns for the violent incident that left at least nine people, including the suspected gunman, dead.
Instead of focusing on America’s gun culture, Greene blamed “mental illness, drugs, and evil forces” that she said “cause people to commit such horrors.” Retweeting a post that contained an image purportedly of the deceased shooter that was so graphic that Twitter removed it, Greene wrote, “Thank God for the brave officer that courageously ran into the line of fire to save others. We pray for the victims and their families and an end to the mental illness, drugs, and evil forces that cause people to commit such horrors.”
Greene has also suggested — hours after a different shooting, this time at an elementary school — that more “good guys with guns” would solve the issue. A “good guy” with a gun was near the Texas shooting Saturday and killed the shooter, but not before the gunman killed eight others and left three people in critical condition.
In a subsequent post on Saturday, Greene perpetuated harmful misinformation by calling on the federal government to “study SSRI’s and other factors that cause mass shootings.” SSRIs are commonly prescribed medications for depression and anxiety and are used safely around the world. According to Dr. James Knoll, director of forensic psychiatry at SUNY Upstate Medical University, if SSRI medications were linked to mass shootings, “one would expect it to be pronounced, or at least much greater than we are seeing. Why do we not see increased violence in women? People over 60?”
“Most people who commit these kinds of acts of severe violence are only prescribed medication because of their horrible thoughts, moods, and ideas,” Dr. Gwen Adshead, a forensic psychotherapist and an expert on the psychology of violent behavior, told Politifact. “Further, the majority of people who carry out these acts are not known to any mental health service.”
Greene’s concern for mental health is clearly disingenuous. She voted against a bill to expand mental health services for youth and against a separate bill to address mental health and substance abuse. But by blaming mental illness, and the medications that treat it, the congresswoman deflects the conversation from the real issue: guns and America’s toxic gun culture.
This year, mass shootings are happening at a record pace. As of Saturday, the Gun Violence Archive counted more than 192 U.S. mass shootings in the first 127 days of 2023.