The American Psychological Association criticized President Donald Trump's comment a Texas mass slaying was a "mental health problem," saying Monday the judgment "distracts" from efforts to prevent gun violence.
In a statement, the organization's president, Antonio Puente, said "the vast majority of people with mental illness are not violent."
"Calling this shooting a 'mental health problem' distracts our nation's leaders from developing policies and legislation that would focus on preventing gun violence through a scientific, public health approach," he stated.
Puente wrote "a complex combination of risk factors, including a history of domestic violence, violent misdemeanor crimes, and substance use disorders, increases the likelihood of people using a firearm against themselves or others."
"Firearm prohibitions for these high-risk groups have been shown to reduce gun violence."
He also pointed out gunman Devin Kelley "exhibited several of 'these red flags.'"
Kelley's rampage Sunday at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, killed 26 people and wounded more than 20 others.
"I think that mental health is your problem here," Trump said during a news conference in Tokyo, amid his 11-day Asia trip.
"This was a very — based on preliminary reports — a very deranged individual. A lot of problems over a long period of time."
Trump said it is too soon to discuss the issue of more restrictions on guns.
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