Dem Senator Floats Revived Gun Control Package Centered On Mental Health

May 25, 2014 12:16 p.m.

In the wake of the University of California Santa Barbara shooting that left seven dead, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) on Sunday called on Congress to revive the failed gun control package introduced following the Sandy Hook shooting.

“That gut-wrenching, heartbreaking statement is a reminder of how we felt in the wake of Sandy Hook on Dec. 14, a year and a half ago when it seemed like we were on the verge of potentially legislation that would stop the madness and end the insanity that has killed too many young people, thousands — tens of thousands — since Sandy Hook,” Blumenthal said on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” referencing the statement one of the victim’s fathers gave following the California shooting.

“I hope, I really sincerely hope, that this tragedy, this unimaginable, unspeakable tragedy, will provide an impetus to bring back measures that would keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people who are severely troubled or deranged like this young man was,” Blumenthal continued.

While the Democratic senator discussed the need for background checks, he proposed potentially centering the legislation around mental health in order to bring conservative lawmakers on board.

“We need mental health resources, and that initiative I hope will provide common ground, a point of consensus, that will bring us together in the Congress and enable the majority — 90 percent of the American people want background checks — to be heard,” Blumenthal said. “I’m going to urge that we bring back those bills, maybe reconfigure them to center on mental health, which is a point where we can agree.”

Sen. John Thune (R-SD), also appearing on “Face the Nation,” said that he felt any gun control legislation pass through Congress should address mental health.

“That’s where we ought to be focusing our efforts,” he said.

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