Federal health officials were barred from posting anything on social media about mental health and violence without prior approval after President Trump said that mental illness was to blame for the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, according to The Washington Post. On Aug. 5, a Health and Human Services directive told communication staffers to seek approval for social-media posts related to mental health, violence, and mass shootings. According to Post, three agency employees said some government mental-health experts felt censored.
After the two shootings that killed 31 people, Trump said, “Mental illness and hatred pull the trigger. Not the gun.” Research has shown that although mental illness can be a factor in mass shootings, it is rarely a predictor. More common predictors are access to firearms, strong sense of resentment, desire for notoriety, obsession with other shooters, a history of domestic violence, and narcissism.