During a meeting with constituents in Oklahoma City, a woman asked the Republican congressman what he was doing to address gun violence committed by children who were high on psychotropic drugs. Lankford answered that he “agree[s] with that” and then went on to blame Social Security disability fraud for the increase in gun violence:
CONSTITUENT: My question is regarding the guns and is Washington at all aware of the psychotropic drugs that these children are taking? I guarantee it 100 percent that’s our big problem. […]
LANKFORD: I agree with that. I think there’s a bunch of issues that, quite frankly, most liberals are afraid to talk about. […] Where are we on all those psychiatric drugs? We’ve overmedicated kids. Quite frankly some of the overmedication of kids are because welfare moms want to get additional benefits and if they can put them on SSI through maintenance drugs, they can also put them on Social Security disability and get a separate check. That is wrong on every single level. Not only is it fraudulent to the government, but it also tells a kid with great potential, “don’t try because you’re disabled.”
What is most troubling about this exchange is that Lankford seems to be just spouting off about theories he has concocted. He, like many on the right, seem more inclined to believe their own generalizations than to actually relate their beliefs to actual studies. If Lankford has evidence which indicates that his assertions are true, then he should cite the research study. But one doubts that his district elected him to just make it up as he goes along.
Furthermore, the young men who committed mass killings in Newton and Aurora weren’t the product of welfare moms. They were young white men with seemingly well adjusted families, so there’s that.