"Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun," President Donald Trump said after the shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

Citing mental health concerns, while laudable as a separate issue, has become the go-to distraction used by those who fear the turning of the tide in the assault weapons conversation. Yes, the semantics can be manipulated by mansplaining, but they really are assault weapons as we have, to our collective horror, seen so many times since the lifting of the U.S. ban on assault weapons in 2004.

The mental health intervention I'd most like to see is to bring back sanity. Bring back the ban.

Peter Krause

Duluth