Jon Voight: Mass Shootings Not Caused by Guns, but by Mental Illness and Abuse

Jon Voight attributed the mass shootings, like the one at an Uvalde, Texas, elementary school that killed 19 students and two teachers on Tuesday, to abuse and mental health issues.

In a two and a half minute video posted to his social media, the actor said there “should be proper qualifications for gun ownership” while also stating that the country “must not allow mental illness to take away our right to bear arms.”

Voight began his message, titled “My Soul Cries for All Lost,” by saying, “We must do something about these horrors that are taken out on innocent beings, humans who each have lives and years of life that they’re supposed to live.” He went on to say that “they’ve been taken down by insanity.”

He continued, “These beings had been bullied, and they take out their disturbances, their grief, their horror on innocent souls. It’s not about left, right. Guns, no guns. This is about brains that are dysfunctioning. This is mental.”

On Friday, the same day Voight posted his message, Rep. Joaquin Castro tweeted that the FBI, which has opened an investigation into various aspects of the mass shooting, “does not believe the shooter was motivated by a particular ideology.”

Authorities have said the 18-year-old gunman legally bought the AR-15 type firearm, known as a DDM4 Rifle, and a second one like it last week, just after his birthday. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said he had no known criminal or mental health history, according to the Associated Press.

Later in the message, Voight defends gun rights, saying that what happened was “not about healthy human beings serving the country with arms to bear or even the right of this Constitution for bearing arms. It is a right to use arms with proper purpose to defend one’s safety. We must not allow mental illness to take away our right to bear arms.”

The actor added that Americans are now living “in a world that has no remorse for wrongdoings because we’re being led by the worst in office,” though he didn’t specify which lawmakers he was referring to. Voight then suggested that “there should be proper qualifications for gun ownership and proper testing.”

“One should only own a gun if they’re qualified and schooled,” he continued.

He ended his message with “May God watch over all and bring comfort for this loss which may never heal, for each child was so precious, a gift.”

Voight is one among several Hollywood figures in the last week who have spoken out about the mass shooting at Robb Elementary. On Thursday, Jamie Foxx had harsh words for lawmakers and “so-called Christians” who have failed to make changes to laws preventing mass shooting events like Tuesday’s.

“Little angels my heart goes out to ur families,” Foxx, who grew up in Texas, wrote in an Instagram post. “Never thought I would live in A society a ‘Christian Society’ where they would let little children die over and over again and still not change any laws.”

In his own statement posted to Instagram, Uvalde native Matthew McConaughey described America’s mass shooting epidemic as “an epidemic we can control, and whichever side of the aisle we may stand on, we all know we can do better.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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