- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 3, 2015

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday that the mental health system in the country needs to be fixed, in the wake of a shooting spree a day earlier in California that left at least 14 people dead.

Mr. Ryan said his “stomach turns like any American” at such events and that there are still too many unknowns to speculate about the origins of the Wednesday shooting.

“But what we have seen in a common theme among many of these mass shootings is the theme of mental illness,” Mr. Ryan said on “CBS This Morning.” “And we need to fix our mental illness laws, our policies — they’re outdated. And that is something that we are working on right now.”

“Without knowing the facts in San Bernardino, we also know that there are homegrown jihadists; we also know that there are ISIS inspirational events, and we need to figure out how to handle that as well,” he said. “There are multiple things that need to be addressed, and we are working on those that need to be addressed, including whether somebody is coming here or inspiring someone to do these things because of their ideological or religious reasons, or the mental health issue, which we know is a common theme among these shootings, and that’s something we’re working on right now.”

Democrats have recently shifted their gun control pitch to point out that people on the government’s no-fly terrorist watch list can easily get guns — a point President Obama made Wednesday.

But Mr. Ryan said people can mistakenly end up on those lists and that citizens are entitled to due process.

“So when we [rush] to act on these things, let’s make sure that we act accordingly. Let’s make sure that we act according to citizens’ rights, the Constitution,” he said. “Oh, and let’s make sure that what we do actually solves these problems. So that is why I think we need to take a pause and see what’s happening. This is why we’re working on mental health already.”

“So with respect to the no-fly list, I think it’s very important to remember people have due process rights in this country, and we can’t have some government official just arbitrarily put them on a list,” Mr. Ryan continued.

He said if someone is suspected of terrorism or of planning a terrorist attack, “we should arrest them.”

“So this is something that should be dealt with by law enforcement in a more pronounced position than maybe banning due process rights on a no-fly list,” Mr. Ryan said. “If we think someone’s going to commit a terrorist attack, we should go pick [them] up.”

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