‘Morning Joe’ Hosts Rip Apart GOP Blaming Mental Health and Not Guns Following Mass Shooting in Chicago

Joe Scarborough said other countries have those problems, too – just not gun violence

Joe Scarborough on "Morning Joe" (MSNBC)
Joe Scarborough on "Morning Joe" (MSNBC)

“Morning Joe” hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski had a lot to say Wednesday about Republicans blaming mental health instead of weapons for the continued mass shootings in America.

The hosts broke down the Republican response on Wednesday’s show while discussing the July 4 mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, that left seven dead and dozens injured.

“Again, because whether it’s a Fourth of July parade, or whether it’s Uvalde, or whether it’s in Buffalo, or whether it’s in Colorado, or whether it’s in Parkland, or whether it’s Sandy Hook, just time and time again, these AR-15s, these AR-style weapons, these military weapons – weapons designed for war – these are the weapons that keep showing up where our streets and our schools and our churches and our synagogues are being turned into killing fields. And it’s not because of mental health that the McCarthy’s will not be with their two-year-old child today or ever again,” Scarborough said, referring to Kevin and Irina McCarthy, who died at Monday’s parade, and whose toddler was found wandering alone by passersby. 

“It’s not because of mental health that Mr. [Nicolas] Toledo won’t be with his grandchildren ever again. It’s because unlike other countries, we allow people to buy weapons of war, and we allow them to buy weapons of war without really doing a significant background check because you’ve got a party that’s against universal background checks,” Scarborough continued, advocating for a more significant purchase process before people are allowed to obtain “AR-style weapons … weapons designed for war.”

Brzezinski, “Morning Joe” co-host and spouse to Scarborough, echoed his statements, saying she was “really tired” of hearing members of the GOP, who have been involved in cuts to mental health services, “saying mental health is the problem.”

“We’re talking about mental health. Stop hiding behind something not only we’re talking about, but we’re doing something about,” she said. “In fact, the latest bill, the gun legislation that was passed addresses mental health. There’s nobody who knows more than Democrats and teachers and mental health professionals and anybody who knows someone who’s suffering, anybody who’s on social media, that mental health is a huge struggle. And yes, we have to deal with it. We need to deal with the root causes, like social media and different other reasons. That information that’s inappropriate just flies around the internet and into our children’s phones. We understand mental health.”

As their discussion continued, Scarborough noted mental health issues are not a uniquely American problem.

“Mental health is a common denominator between the United States [and] Britain, the United States and France and the rest of – that’s the common denominator that we all share. What we don’t share is the fact that we have an extraordinary proliferation of weapons of war spreading all over this country,” he said. “Hundreds of millions of guns out there. The reason why? Because of the lie that continues to be told to Americans by gun lobbyists, by people that are seeking to make Americans paranoid, suggesting the federal government’s coming after them, suggesting that the police are coming after them, suggesting that the mobs are coming after them, that they have to be ready for the apocalypse. No, they’re creating their own mini-apocalypse. Gun manufacturers who are making millions and millions of dollars off of these deaths.”