Trump uses Texas shooting for politics

BRATTLEBORO — While Donald Trump is on a political distraction in Asia, his appalling rhetoric - regarding the Texas massacre and the scapegoating of Americans with mental illnesses as “act(s) of evil,” “deranged,” “horrific,” and “a mental health problem at the highest level,” and his understated defense of the right to bear arms - is preposterous.

It is indeed an act of evil and horror to turn the Sutherland Springs violence into one more example of Trump's political opportunism and self-preoccupation.

Your readers may (or may not) be aware of Vermont's historic first-ever official legislative finding that persons diagnosed with mental-health challenges are no more likely to be violent than persons without mental illness. Yet we often lack appropriate health care, and we are over 10 times more likely than the general population to be victims of violent crime.

Whatever the nature of Devin Kelley's outburst, he was deeply troubled, but not necessarily mentally ill.

We are all accountable for the presidential quagmire that allows Donald Trump to represent this country's national and world interests.

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