Following this past week’s tragic school shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas, Oliver North – the president of the National Rifle Association (NRA) decided to try and blame the school shootings that have been happening in the US on boys living in a “culture where violence is commonplace” and where they are all hopped up on Ritalin. He thinks that because, in this case, the shooter happened to have a ADHD diagnosis that this means that Ritalin, a common drug used to treat ADHD, is to blame. This common logical fallacy, known as a hasty generalization just shows us that this man doesn’t know what he’s talking about and shouldn’t be making blanket statements to further his pro gun agenda, especially at the expense of children and teens that just suffered through a school shooting where too many of their peers were killed for no reason.

The facts of the matter are simply that, he’s wrong. There have been some instances of school shootings that were committed by people on Ritalin and that have ADHD, but there’s a bunch over the past few years that seem unprompted and were not committed by people using any type of drug.

Ritalin doesn’t even produce the side effects of aggression that Mr. North is claiming would drive kids to want to hurt or kill people. Ritalin has the following side effects:

  • Serious side effects of Ritalin include heart or mental problems, slowing of growth in children, seizures (mainly in patients with a history of them), eyesight changes or painful and prolonged erections, according to the drug’s medication guide.

  • Common side effects include headache, stomachache, trouble sleeping, nausea, decreased appetite and nervousness, according to the guide.

We need this gun culture driven country of ours and organizations like the NRA to cool it and get with the times. Most of the planet looks at the US like we are ass backward from any type of social progress and with good reason.

Now I’m not saying that better gun control laws will fix all of our violence issues, but based on statistics from other countries where there already are stricter gun control laws, it’s a huge step in the right direction. Maybe it’s time to stop using things like children’s mental health medications, video games and aggressive music as scapegoats for the real problem here.

We need to progress forward or nothing is ever going to get better so don’t forget to vote this November.