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Napolitano Rejects Link Between Mental Illness & Gun Violence, Calls for Effective Solutions on NBC4’s “Today in LA”

August 10, 2019
Press Release

(EL MONTE, CA)  Rep. Grace F. Napolitano (CA-32) appeared on NBC4’s “Today in LA” this morning to discuss current gun violence prevention measures in Congress, reject the link between mental illness and gun violence, and express the need for humane immigration policies and reform. Below are excerpts from the interview.

On the Likelihood and Timeline of Gun Violence Prevention Legislation Passing Congress

“If enough pressure is placed on McConnell and the president, maybe they'll do some gun control, but I don't expect very much to happen, because every time something happens, great fear for month or two, and then it dies down, they forget about it, and they won't act. Now we're hoping that they'll continue to put pressure on both of them to make sure we get some effective gun control, like H.R. 8, Mike Thompson’s bill; universal—all states—background checks. He (President Trump) changes his mind quite often, so we don't know what's going to happen...”

On Rejecting the Link Between Mental Illness and Gun Violence

“He (President Trump) is wrong. Mental illness has a place, but it is wrong to put that with gun violence when only 4% of violence is committed by people who have mental illness. In fact, the mentally ill get blamed for everything, and it's not fair because it is not so, and all the mental health organizations will tell you very openly that this is a bad reference to mental illness... Hatred, bigotry, intolerance... They want to make this white America. It can’t be. We’re already a mixed society.”

On the Need for Humane Immigration Polices and Reform

“Immigration has always needed reform, it's never really quite had that. We've tried again in the House, nothing gets passed in the Senate. Right now, Dr. Ruiz has a bill for humane treatment of families and children. They should not be separated at all. It's going to cause trauma in these children later on...”

Napolitano is the founder and Co-Chair of the Congressional Mental Health Caucus and a Vice Chair of the House Democratic Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, where she fights to enact policies to curb gun violence without further stigmatizing the issue of mental health.

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