“Last Week Tonight” took on the subject of mental health Sunday (Oct. 4), but did so in a very John Oliver way.
Oliver points at the GOP presidential candidates’ responses to the mass shooting in Oregon, which is to use mental illness as a way to dodge the issue of gun control.
“Perhaps the clearest sign of just how little we want to talk about mental health is one of the only times it’s actively brought up is, as we’ve seen yet again this week, in the aftermath of mass shooting as a means of steering the conversation away from gun control,” says Oliver.
“The aftermath of a mass shooting might actually 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,” Oliver continues. “In fact, mentally ill people are far likelier to be the victims of violence rather than the perpetrators, so the fact we tend to only discuss mental health in a mass shooting context is deeply misleading.”
Oliver goes on to detail the epic failures in this country regarding mental health, like prisons being where most mentally ill people end up, or a process known as “Greyhound therapy,” where facilities discharge mentally ill people early and put them on a Greyhound bus with a one-way ticket to … somewhere.
In the end, he circles back to Ben Carson, Donald Trump and Mike Huckabee touting how the U.S. must do more for mentally ill people because that’s what the mass shooting was actually about, and he says:
“Fine. Do it then. Because if we’re going to constantly use mentally ill people to dodge conversations about gun control, then the very least we owe them is a f***ing plan.”