‘Something Needs to Change’: Megyn reacts to the Mass Shooting at a Restaurant and Bowling Alley in Maine

AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty

A manhunt is underway for a U.S. Army reservist who is suspected of killing at least 18 people and injuring 13 others at a restaurant and bowling alley in Maine on Wednesday.

A warrant is out for the arrest of Robert Card for eight counts of murder for his suspected involvement in the shooting rampage in Lewiston, ME. Card is considered armed and dangerous and residents are being urged to shelter in place as law enforcement scours the area for the suspect.

On Thursday’s show, Megyn was joined by the hosts of The Fifth Column – Kmele Foster, Michael Moynihan, and Matt Welch – to discuss the tragedy and why conversations around mental health are more vital than ever.

What Happened in Lewiston

Just before 7pm ET on Wednesday, there were two active shooting incidents in Lewiston, Maine’s second largest city. The incidents occurred at Just-in-Time Recreation (previously known as Sparetime Recreation), a bowling alley, and Schemengees Bar & Grille Restaurant.

Lewiston police quickly identified Card, a 40-year-old trained firearms instructor from Bowdoin, ME, as a person of interest. Security footage shows the suspect in brown clothing, holding an assault-style rifle. His car was found late Wednesday near a boat dock in Lisbon, ME, about eight miles from Lewiston.

A U.S. official told the Associated Press that the Army reservist had been taken by law enforcement for an evaluation after commanders in the Army Reserve’s 3rd Battalion, 304th Infantry Regiment became concerned in mid-July that Card was acting erratically while training at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in New York. It is believed he was committed for a two-week stay before being released. Officials said Card had reported “hearing voices” recently and had made threats to carry out a shooting at a National Guard facility in Saco, ME.

In addition to local and state police, federal agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have joined the search for Card.

‘Something Needs to Change’

Megyn – who noted she is choosing to name the suspect because of the manhunt – said that the conversation around this shooting will undoubtedly turn to gun control in the coming days. But she believes the more productive conversation to have involves mental health. “It’s pointless to spend time on the gun debate – they’re not going away,” she said. “We do have to spend time on the mental health problem.”

Given what we know about the suspect’s recent history, Megyn said more should have been done to monitor his behavior. “This shouldn’t happen, but, in this guy’s case, there were red flags,” she noted. “Why [did] they think that he would be okay to walk amongst us?”

In her view, there needs to be a renewed conversation and debate about how to prioritize public safety. “I really firmly believe what we need is a mental health facility… that is jail-like, it’s a secure facility, but it is one in which a loving family member would feel comfortable committing his or her son, or daughter, or uncle, or cousin,” she shared.

Civil liberties will have to be considered. “[They] are… going to have to be protected, but… they can’t be concern number one,” she said. “Mine, yours, and our kids, those civil liberties are the ones they’re going to have to matter, not those of the guy who’s hearing voices, and is threatening to shoot places up, and was just on a mental health hold inside a facility over the summer. That guy is going to lose a little.”

Megyn admitted there are no easy solutions but said the status quo is not an option. “Something needs to change, and it’s not a gun grab,” she concluded. “Something needs to change in the way we approach people who we know have mental health issues and, of course, their access to guns.”

You can check out Megyn’s full interview with The Fifth Column by tuning in to episode 656 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.