Speaker Paul Ryan was confronted by Mark Hughes, the man who was misidentified as a suspect in the Dallas shootings last week. His question concerned the actual shooter, who was a veteran and whom Hughes speculated had some issues with PTSD.
"What are you going to do to ensure that guns do not fall into the hands of individuals with some type of mental disorder, and what is your plan for vets that come back with some kind of disease or mental illness?," Hughes asked.
Ryan got excited! There is common ground, he said. We haven't reformed our mental health laws since Reagan's time, and it's high time we do! Yay!
For the last FOUR YEARS, folks, they've had a clinical psychologist on staff studying how to reform mental health laws. Four years, during which hundreds of people have lost their lives, many of them in mass shootings. Maybe even thousands. But study is important!
Ryan is excited because the House passed it with 405 votes, so it was BIPARTISAN, and revamps mental illness laws. However, it does nothing about the issues when it comes to the intersection of guns and possibly undiagnosed PTSD. Keep in mind, the Dallas shooter was a law-abiding citizen with no criminal record and no record of any PTSD issues or anything else.
The classic Good Guy With a Gun, until he wasn't.
Ryan went on to brag about the House opioid bill, which would "revamp the Veteran's administration as well." (Translation: Privatize the VA, not "revamp" it)
"With respect to vets, we have got to clean up the VA," Ryan promised. "How are we going to clean up the VA so we can specialize on its unique problems. PTSD, traumatic brain injury, prosthetics -- there are special things that are unique to veterans."
Ryan went on to complain about the "the VA bureaucracy sweeping the (huge) waiting list under the rug," and said we need to "clean up the mess at the VA."
So in other words, it's all the VA's fault. No.
None of Ryan's earnestly-spoken word salad addressed the question, which is how to keep guns out of the hands of an at-least-momentarily deranged lunatic who wants to kill cops, or gay people, or children.
Jake Tapper tried to bring it around to the original question about guns, which is pretty simple. How do we keep them out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them?
Did Paul Ryan answer that question? No, no he didn't. He pointed his fingers at the Democrats' solution and said it wouldn't have stopped the terrorists from getting guns.
He's probably right because we all know the answer is pretty simple. Ban the high-capacity magazines, ban the assault-style weapons, or ban them both. That's the solution, but you won't hear Paul Ryan utter those words.
Why should he, when he can pretend like they're doing something or complain about the Democrats, after all?