NRA President Oliver North Says ‘Young Boys On Ritalin’ Are To Blame For School Shootings, Not Guns

'Many of these young boys have been on Ritalin since they were in kindergarten. Now I'm certainly not a doctor, I'm a marine, but I can see those kinds of things happening and endangering those two gals.'

nra adhd north mass shootings
Sue Ogrocki / AP Images

'Many of these young boys have been on Ritalin since they were in kindergarten. Now I'm certainly not a doctor, I'm a marine, but I can see those kinds of things happening and endangering those two gals.'

The National Rifle Association’s new incoming president, Oliver North, blamed school shootings on ADHD medication and “a culture of violence,” as he puts it, while proposing unique solutions that, he claims, would address the disease and not just its symptoms.

Mr. North, Think Progress reported, made these claims on a Sunday morning talk show, Fox News Sunday.

“The problem we’ve got is we’re trying like the dickens to treat the symptom without treating the disease. And the disease, in this case, isn’t the Second Amendment. The disease is youngsters who are steeped in a culture of violence, they’ve been drugged in many cases. Nearly all of these perpetrators are male and they’re young teenagers in most cases.”

Discussing the Santa Fe, Texas, school shooting, where a gunman killed nine students and a teacher on Friday, the NRA’s new incoming president suggested the school wasn’t secure enough.

According to the Washington Post, however, the school district had an active-shooter plan, and two armed police officers walking the halls daily.

School district leaders had agreed to eventually arm teachers and staff last autumn, and the school had even won an award for its safety program.

Still, Mr. North suggested that the school should invest in metal detectors. According to Mr. North, schools should have metal detectors like airports do.

“If that means five metal detectors getting in and out of the high school, you get five metal detectors,” he told the host.

The underlying problems – and what separates American youth from the rest of the world – are, according to North, exposure to violence and disease.

“They’ve come through a culture where violence is commonplace. All we need to do is turn on the TV, or go to a movie,” he said.

The NRA’s new chief claims that ADHD medication, such as Ritalin, plays a part in mass shootings in the United States.

“Many of these young boys have been on Ritalin since they were in kindergarten. Now I’m certainly not a doctor, I’m a marine, but I can see those kinds of things happening and endangering those two gals.”

If exposure to violence and medication are a symptom and not a disease, Oliver North has, according to Think Progress, failed to provide any evidence for his claims.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 15 percent of males and 6.7 percent of females have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Although Ritalin is the most commonly prescribed drug for this mental disorder, the theory that it has something to do with mass shootings, according to Think Progress, does not hold water. It has, in fact, made its way through Scientology and far-right websites.

The theory has been debunked by the U.S. Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center, the Department of Education, and the National Institute of Justice, the same outlet noted.

Discussing exposure to violence – video game violence in particular – Professor of Psychology at Stetson University, Christopher J. Ferguson, wrote an extensive piece meant to “end the debate about video games and violence.”

Ferguson’s piece was published by The Conversation following the Valentine’s Day shooting at a Broward County, Florida, high school.

“Any claims that there is consistent evidence that violent video games encourage aggression are simply false,” Professor Ferguson, who has studied violent video games for almost 15 years, wrote.