But again, listen to what LaPierre has been saying: “On the gun check, the NRA supported the gun check because we thought the mental records would be in the system; we thought criminals would be in the system. And we thought they would be prosecuted.”
There are hopeful signs that some people in Washington are beginning to take the issue of mental health care seriously. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and her co- sponsors, including a handful of Republicans, are pushing the Excellence in Mental Health Act, which would promote emergency 24-hour psychiatric services and other improvements. Replacing services that were largely dismantled decades ago will take years and cost billions.
LaPierre should be challenged to put at least some NRA lobbying clout, or money, where his mouth is on the issue of improvements in mental health care.
Craig R. Whitney, a former assistant managing editor and foreign correspondent for the New York Times, is the author of “Living With Guns: A Liberal’s Case for the Second Amendment.”