DeSantis Touts Institutionalization, Not Gun Control, As Solution To Tragedies
In the aftermath of the tragic shooting in Maine, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is standing firm in his support of Second Amendment rights and pushing back against calls for red flag laws and other gun control measures. During a recent CNN interview with Kaitlan Collins on “The Source,” he pointed to a worsening mental health problem that the U.S. needs to take seriously.
The shooting in Maine, which left 18 people dead and numerous others injured, was said to have been perpetrated by a mentally disturbed individual who opened fire at two locations. In response to the tragedy, some have called for red flag laws, which allow firearms to be temporarily seized from individuals deemed a risk to themselves or others. However, DeSantis believes such laws raise serious concerns about due process rights.
“I think red flag laws have been abused because people can just lodge a complaint,” DeSantis stated.
“Sometimes they’ll take somebody’s firearms. And here’s the thing. It’s not even a Second Amendment issue, but it is a Fifth Amendment due process issue. Can you take someone’s property without having an adjudication? So, I think it’s different.”
When asked if he would support red flag laws if elected president, DeSantis made his stance clear: he would not sign such laws or any other gun safety measures. Instead, he emphasized the need for addressing mental health issues and called for more institutionalization for those who pose a danger to society.
“I think the mental health issue in our country, part of it is we do need more institutionalization,” he explained. “There are some people who are dangerous to society, and a lot of them get put back on the streets. It will require more resources, but I think that’s appropriate.”
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DeSantis also stressed the importance of holding violent criminals accountable by keeping them in prison for extended periods, thereby preventing them from returning to the streets. For him, the leniency shown to repeat offenders within the justice system sometimes poses a danger to society.
“If you look at most of the crimes that are committed in this country, it’s people who have been in the justice system before and have gotten a slap on the wrist. That’s happening all over this country, and we will hold people accountable,” he stated.
Citing his state’s success in reducing crime rates to a 50-year low, the GOP presidential candidate maintained that accountability through mental adjudication for those with severe mental health issues or conviction for criminal activities is more effective than imposing additional gun control laws.
The search for the suspect in the Maine shooting was ongoing, with reports of the individual, identified as Robert Card, having had recent mental health issues and a previous commitment to a mental health facility over the summer. However, he was reportedly found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Friday.
DeSantis has been a vocal advocate for increased institutionalization, particularly in the aftermath of the Parkland high school shooting, where 17 lives were lost and 17 were injured. At the time, he called for more institutionalization, suggesting that the pendulum may have swung too far towards liberalism in handling mental health issues.
Former President Donald Trump also shared similar sentiments at the time, saying, “Part of the problem is, we used to have mental institutions.”