John Oliver Has Had It With People Who Only Care About Mental Health When It Distracts From Gun Laws

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In the wake of any tragedy like the shooting at a community college in Oregon last week, politicians and pundits of all political stripes come out in force to talk about how best to avoid another occurrence in the future. Though some might call it “politicizing a tragedy,” ignoring the problem won’t fix it. However, when the conversation turns to mental health, it’s a little disingenuous for people who didn’t seem to care otherwise to suddenly jump up and talk about how serious the situation of the mental healthcare situation of the United States is.

First, and most obviously, many of them—you know who they are—are just doing it so they don’t have to talk about gun reform, because they want to continue winning their party’s votes. But it’s also, as Oliver points out in his trademark truthful-research-based-journalisim-disguised-as-comedy way, because mental health and how it’s handled really don’t have very much to do with these events, if anything at all.

Yet that’s not because our mental healthcare system is great. It’s got some pretty big troubles of its own that deserve more deference than being trotted out to distract people for a bit of NRA sleight of hand to make gun control disappear.

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Dan Van Winkle
Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct Geekosystem (RIP), and then at The Mary Sue starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at Smash Bros.