How to delegitimize two issues at once
It just hit me.
They say it's a mental illness problem, which is to distract from the gun issue, right? So we notice that and just ignore their scapegoat, but that makes us also ignore that there is a legitimate issue with the way we deal with mental health (on multiple levels).
Therefore, not only are we in an endless loop about arguing on gun laws, but we've also completely pushed aside improving on how we deal with mental illness.
It's similar to when a friend constantly borrows money and doesn't pay back(shoots up a school) and people who gotta pay bills are seriously effected(surviving victims, family of victims), so you bring up the fact that you friend is broke and he needs to get a job and pay people back(tragedy, better gun laws) and your friend either lies and says he'll pay you back eventually and never does(some b.s. promise to change the laws but never happens) or they claim the problem is something else "look, don't blame me for the fact that you're short for rent, that's not my fault. You just can't budget" ("it's not a gun problem, it's a mental illness problem"). Of course some people learn and don't lend out the cash(minor laws are put in place) but after time people forget and lend out money again(the laws were shit, another shooting happens). Then people just learn to live with that lame ass friend and deal with it cause they know they can't say no every time(like, a bunch of minor laws are put in that collectively kinda work. Cause let's be honest, we KNOW there's gonna be another shooting).
So you live with the friend(shootings) and ignore his obvious ploy to make it look like budgeting was the problem(mental illness).
It's actually some smart psychological manipulation.