Cameron Kasky: It’s not mental health but the weapon that makes shootings happen

Cameron Kasky: It’s not mental health but the weapon that makes shootings happen
Cameron Kasky (Image: Fox News video screen grab)

Yesterday a rarity occurred. One of the three teen “spokespeople” from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School deigned to make an appearance on the Fox News Channel.

Like fellow March for Our Lives organizers David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez, Cameron Kasky has had “expert” status conferred on him by the mainstream media, even though his only “credential” is having survived a massacre. The situation is analogous to calling a teenager who survived a car crash an expert on traffic safety.

Anyway, Kasky’s appearance on “Fox News Sunday” marked the first time any of these underage heroes of the Left ventured into the lion’s den.

Among the many “insights” Kasky shared with host Chris Wallace was that “there’s no specific mental health problem that makes all these shootings happen, it’s the weapon.” Here’s a clip of a portion of the interview.

Kasky’s claim that “no specific mental health problem” is a factor in mass shootings is true but irrelevant since no specific firearm is a factor either. What is relevant is that mental illness is far more prevalent in mass shootings than Kasky and his chums seem to recognize. According to a monograph titled “The Patterns and Prevalence of Mass Public Shootings in the United States, 1915–2013”:

[M]ore than 60%” [of mass public shooters] had been either diagnosed with a mental disorder or demonstrated signs of serious mental illness prior to the attack.

Moreover, “roughly one third [of those individuals] sought or received mental health care prior to the attack.” That includes Stoneman Douglas shooter Nikolas Cruz, who had a long history of psychotherapy and other forms of intervention. He even confided to a school counselor on one occasion that he “saw himself in a dream drenched in human blood.”

Kasky is not alone in his willingness to appear on television or in high-visibility venues to make unsupportable claims that the media are only too happy to report as fact. Classmate David Hogg, the most visible of the three, complained to reporters over the weekend that Fox News was “misrepresenting his views on guns.” But when examined, his views collapse like a house of cards. He has said, for instance, that his goal is to “make sure that individuals with a criminal background are no longer able to get a gun.” But individuals with criminal backgrounds are already prohibited from obtaining guns, not to mention that three quarters of guns used in crimes are stolen. Tougher gun laws will do nothing to correct this problem. Neither will removing “the guns that cause the most carnage,” Emma Gonzalez’s admittedly “simple” solution to the gun problem.

Although Hogg, Gonzalez, and Kasky have received the most media attention, a fourth Stoneman Douglas student, Kyle Kashuv, is beginning to receive recognition from the Right. On Sunday, Kashuv, who is pro-Second Amendment and armed with the facts, challenged Kasky to a debate . If Kasky accepts, I am predicting a KO in Round 1.

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.


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