The View co-host Joy Behar lashed out at law-abiding gun owners on Thursday, accusing those millions of Americans of having a “mental illness” and declaring they “must be stopped immediately.”
“We need to grow up,” Behar sneered at America while falsely asserting that “[w]e’re between Venezuela and Brazil with the most mass shootings. There were 40 mass shooting it in the first 24 days of this year,” she said, parroting a statistic from Gun Violence Archive that has been debunked multiple times.
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Behar was speaking in response to a teacher getting shot by a 6-year-old in a Virginia school, where officials blatantly ignored multiple warnings that the kid had taken a gun to school that day.
Clearly referring to private gun ownership and support for Second Amendment rights, Behar argued: “There’s like a mental illness going on in the country that has to be stopped immediately.” She went on to suggest that President Biden’s efforts to stop them were being thwarted by “people who are getting money from the gun lobby and who want to keep [mass shootings] going. It’s disgraceful.”
What ABC News and The View didn’t want viewers to know was that an expansive Georgetown University study of guns in America conducted last year, found “that guns are used defensively by firearms owners in approximately 1.67 million incidents per year.”
After giving a weak endorsement of gun rights, self-described conservative Alyssa Farah Griffin noted that “98 percent of mass shootings in this country are young men … between adolescence and young adulthood” and share signs of actual mental illness. “[T]here is a mental health component and there is a crisis of young men in this country that we don’t know how to address and I don’t think we’re talking about it enough,” she implored them to take into account.
Behar scoffed at the facts. “They have mentally ill people in the European Union, don’t they? So, the one thing they don’t have is access to guns. So, this mental health idea is baloney. It’s baloney,” she flailed. “I don’t think it is baloney though. Because again, I can own a gun my whole life and never use it to commit a crime,” Farah Griffin pushed back.
There was a cacophony of crosstalk and co-host Sunny Hostin shrieked that “[p]eople with mental illness are more likely to be victims of crime than attacking other people.” It’s been a common argument she’s deployed in an attempt to try to sever the connection between mass shooters and mental illness.
Of course, that stat might be true, but when we slice things down to look at who’s committing mass shootings (not those improperly counted by Gun Violence Archive) there is a spectrum of mental illness.
Interestingly, Sara Haines noted other societal problems that could lead a troubled young man to commit a mass shooting and came off sounding a bit like a conservative again:
You also can’t separate the problem with pornography, and video games, and the disconnection between young people, and a lack of empathy, and racism, and you name it all. It is layered beyond belief and it’s not as simple as, “we got tons of guns, get rid of them.” Some people have them illegally. Some people have them legally.
Behar was made to read a fact-check of her dubious comparison of the U.S. to Venezuela and Brazil. After a commercial break, Behar read from her phone that the U.S. is “between Brazil and Venezuela for highest total gun deaths, not specifically mass shootings.”
Again, her statistic was misleading. According to the Pew Research Center, a majority of gun deaths in America are suicides (often the result of mental illness), not homicides. That number has reached upwards of two-thirds of gun deaths.
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