You’ll Never Guess What RFK Jr. Says Really Causes Mass Shootings

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Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has a reputation for promoting pseudoscience. But in a recently surfaced interview, Kennedy makes one of his wildest claims yet: that the rise in mass shootings over the past 20 years is due to antidepressants and video games.

During a January interview with Turkish state-owned TRT World, Kennedy claimed that in the past 20 years in the United States, “there’s been no per capita increase in the number of guns we have in this country.

He argued that other causes needed to be studied, such as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), commonly used as antidepressants, and video games. Kennedy also claimed that the National Institutes of Health hasn’t been allowed to study the cause of gun violence in America since 1996.

Kennedy’s information on the number of guns in America isn’t true. In the past 20 years, gun manufacturing and imports have sharply increased, matching the rise in gun deaths. As far as the NIH being allowed to study the cause of gun violence, it appears that Kennedy’s information is out of date.

In 1996, Congress did pass the Dickey Amendment, which prohibited using any federal funding to “advocate or promote gun control.” The law effectively banned research on gun violence by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and in 2011, Congress amended the law to also include the NIH. But in 2019, Congress approved $25 million in funding specifically for the NIH and the CDC to research gun violence, and clarified that the Dickey Amendment didn’t specifically ban gun research.

Results from newer, federally funded studies are starting to come back. Last year, Stanford researchers looked at medical studies for connections between video games and gun violence and found “that video games do not cause violence, can substantially lower stigma and barriers to access, and hold the potential to inject wellness into our everyday lives.”

Kennedy’s views on vaccines and medicine are alarming beyond his stances on guns. He’s claimed that polluted water is making children transgender, that China and the U.S. are developing ethnic bioweapons designed to target certain races, and that WiFi causes cancer, and he has compared mask mandates to Nazi experiments. His running mate, Nicole Shanahan, has similarly disturbing views.