‘Last Week Tonight’ host, John Oliver dedicated 11 minutes of his Oct. 4 show in the wake of the mass shooting in Oregon to talk about mental illness. He said the federal government doesn’t do enough to help the over 43.8 million American adults suffering from mental illness but that most of the gun violence is not linked to mental illness.
John Oliver is incredibly upset that the conversation of mental illness has been brought up again in the aftermath of another horrific shooting. The host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight, says that to talk about mental illness in the wake of this tragedy is not doing justice to the millions of Americans suffering from the disease.
“One of the only times it’s actively brought up [mental illness] is as we’ve seen yet again this week is in the aftermath of a mass shooting as a means of steering the conversation away from gun control. It seems like there’s nothing like a mass shooting to spark political interest in mental health … The aftermath of a mass shooting might be the worst time to talk about mental health because for the record, the vast majority of mentally ill people are non violent and the vast majority of gun violence is committed by non mentally ill people. In fact, mentally ill people are far likely to be the victims of violence instead of being the perpetrators. So the fact that we tend to only discuss mental health in a mass shooting context is deeply misleading.” It’s clear John is taking to task people like Donald Trump who said that the shooting in Oregon was not a matter of gun control but a discussion about mental illness.
Some of the facts John flashed up on the screen stated that “fewer than 5% of the 120,000 gun-related killings were perpetrated by people diagnosed with mental illness.” But John does say that if we are going to “dodge” conversations about mental illness and only bring it up in these types of situations then we must do something. “If we’re going to constantly use mentally ill people to dodge conversations about gun control, the least we owe them is a f—ing plan.”
HollywoodLifers, do you agree with Oliver?
— Chloe Melas