April 4, 2014
Reacting to the shooting at Fort Hood on Wednesday, House Speaker John Boehner reiterated a popular NRA talking point: “There’s no question that those with mental health issues should be prevented from owning weapons or being able to purchase weapons.” Those suffering the same diagnosed illnesses as the shooter — depression and anxiety — might be surprised by Boehner’s willingness to take away their Second Amendment rights.
Ivan Lopez, the alleged shooter, was being evaluated for post-traumatic stress disorder at the base, where he was stationed and lived with his wife. According to CNN, Lopez “was undergoing a variety of treatments for conditions including depression, anxiety and sleep disturbances,” according to Army Secretary John McHugh. Lopez “was prescribed drugs that included Ambien” and “was fully examined last month by a psychiatrist.”
An estimated one-in-10 Americans suffers from depression, according to the Centers for Disease Control. That’s about 31 million people, skewed told older people and women. The National Institutes of Health puts those suffering from “major depressive disorder” at the lower figure of 14.8 million. As for anxiety? The NIH says that 40 million Americans suffer from that.
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