On Thursday night at Virginia Tech, the site where 33 people were massacred by gun violence in 2007, Virginia gubernatorial candidates Terry McAuliffe (D) and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) squared off over solutions for countering gun violence in their final debate.
McAuliffe highlighted his support for universal background checks, a popular reform that's been considered politically dead thanks to the lobbying strength of pro-gun groups.
"As governor, I want to make sure communities are safe, I never want to see another Newtown or Aurora, Virginia Tech ever again," McAuliffe said.
Cuccinelli has emphasized that during his time as attorney general, the state has excelled at screening people with mental illnesses from purchasing guns and prosecuting those with illegal gun possession. He also said he wants to increase funding for mental health services.
"We need to do more in that direction to make sure less of those tragedies happen because they're all tied to mental health failures," Cuccinelli said at one point during Thursday's debate. "I also would note that I am a strong advocate of enforcing our gun laws Virginia is literally one of the best states in the country to do that and I'll continue to do that as governor. I'm an "A" rated NRA candidate and I'm running against the only "F" rated candidate running statewide and that's Terry McAuliffe."
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