Trump blames mental illness for bar shooting

US President Donald Trump speaks to the press before departing the White House for Paris on November 9, 2018 in Washington, DC.NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — President Donald Trump is blaming mental illness for the California bar shooting that left 13 people dead, including the shooter.

Trump, speaking to reporters at the White House on Friday, described gunman Ian David Long as “a very sick puppy” who had “a lot of problems.”

Long, who opened fire at the country music bar in Thousand Oaks on Wednesday, was seen by a mental health specialist in April who worried the 28-year-old Marine veteran might have post-traumatic stress disorder. Investigators have not commented on a motive for the shooting, or whether mental illness played a role.

Trump touted his efforts to fund PTSD among veterans. But he declined to engage on questions on whether the nation needed stricter gun control laws.

Trump has closely aligned himself with the powerful gun lobbying group, the National Rifle Association, and has resisted calls for tougher firearms measures.

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