Thursday on NBC’s “Today,” host Megyn Kelly offered her thoughts in a monologue about gun control and mental illness on the heels of the Parkland, FL school shooting.
Partial transcript as follows:
There have been at least 12 — at least 12 — school shootings in America so far in 2018. It’s February 15. We’re averaging one just about every three or four days. How we doing, America? Everyone okay with that? Apparently the answer is in fact yes because we haven’t done virtually anything to stop it. We haven’t done virtually anything. We all know what is about to happen right now, don’t we? We’re going to say how sorry and shocked and sad we are, and then we’re going to move on without doing anything. And then we’ll express how sorry and shocked and sad we are at the next one, and the one after that. Does anyone really think that we are going to do anything about these mass murders?
I don’t. I don’t believe that. I don’t believe in a single one of these politicians. I don’t believe any of them have the courage it takes to push through reform. Why? Because history. And let’s face it, let’s face it. It’s not all on them because we the people, who hire and fire these politicians so if we don’t get serious, neither will they.
Five years ago I was live on the air and pregnant with my third child when 20 first graders were shot to death in school in Newtown, Connecticut. That was the one. That was the one where we all thought now we will do something. Now we have to change. But we didn’t. In fact, since Newtown, there have been nearly 300 school shootings in America, about one a week. If 20 dead first graders don’t spur people to action, what will? Yes, there was an act signed into law by President Obama just about 15 months ago targeting mental health reforms. It pushes for early intervention for kids showing signs of mental illness, but guess what, it hasn’t been funded by Congress. It’s a beautiful piece of paper. I’m sure it’s a great comfort to the folks in Florida today.
We had a woman on this show just last week jumping up and down, a mother, trying to warn people that her own son is a potential danger. She’s seen it. She said he’s been killing animals, consuming dark and disturbing pornography, and no one will help her. She said their social worker dumped the family after learning how disturbed her son was. What could possibly go wrong? And then there is the truth that mental instability by itself is not a great predictor of a mass shooting. Most mentally ill people do not commit murder. So even if we fund the mental health reforms, how do we find the potentially deadly needles in these haystacks who are likely to blow?
We could start by paying attention. Paying attention to things like Facebook posts with ominous gun pictures coupled with social alienation and other red flag warning signs. But then what? Then what? Are we really going to loosen the standards for involuntary commitment in this country? Even if we could pay for that, good luck convincing the ACLU that it’s legal. And then there are the guns. Don’t even think about it. Don’t even think about it. No gun reforms are getting through. They’re not. And most of the ones that will be proposed in the wake of this shooting will be utterly meaningless and wouldn’t have even arguably prevented this killing. The NRA is too powerful. our politicians are too weak, and the guns are too ubiquitous.
Guess how many guns there are in America, do you know? Over 300 million. They say 6 to 10 million AE-15s like the one reportedly used in Florida. So now we’ve seen it a million times. We’re going to debate that gun. But any semiautomatic pistol can unleash carnage. There was no AR-15 at Virginia Tech and that remains the worst school shooting in U.S. history. 32 dead and nothing changed. Nothing. Can it? In the meantime, I and other parents have to send our kids to play and play Russian Roulette with their lives. My children, like yours, have to practice hiding in the bathroom to avoid an active shooter and don’t even think about letting the teacher lead a prayer to get them through that moment because the guns are perfectly legal, but the prayers are not. I wish I had the solution. One part of it is courage to get honest, to give a damn. To maybe take that $25 billion for the border wall and redirect it towards this problem. How about showing any resolve at all. Any resolve at all to actually solve this problem. Wouldn’t that be a start?
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN