To Renew Gun Control Push After California Shooting Spree
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[May 27, 2014]
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senator
Richard Blumenthal said on Sunday he wanted to revive gun control
legislation rejected by Congress in the wake of the 2012 Newtown,
Connecticut, school massacre, saying it could have helped prevent this
weekend's deadly California shooting spree.
Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut, said on CBS's "Face the
Nation" program the legislation, which failed last year, could be
revised to emphasize the mental condition of potential gun buyers.
"Obviously, not every kind of gun violence is going to be prevented
by laws out of Washington," he said.
"But at least we can make a start and I am going to urge that we
bring back those bills, maybe reconfigure them, center on mental
health, which is a point where we can agree that we need more
resources to make the country healthier and to make sure that these
kinds of horrific, insane, mad occurrences are stopped.
"And the Congress will be complicit if we fail in that," he said.
On Friday night a 22-year-old college student identified as Elliot
Rodger allegedly stabbed three people to death in his apartment in
Santa Barbara, California, and then drove through the city and
fatally shot three others with handguns he had legally bought. He
later killed himself. [ID:nL1N0OB072]
A YouTube video and a lengthy "manifesto" Rodger left behind were
filled with rage and plans for "slaughtering" women because he felt
they had rejected him.
Rodger had been visited by Santa Barbara authorities last month
after a family member expressed concerns about him. Santa Barbara
Sheriff Bill Brown said Rodger was courteous to the deputies and did
not meet the criteria for legal intervention.
U.S. President Barack Obama made gun control a priority shortly
after Adam Lanza, 20, killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy
Hook Elementary School in Newtown with an assault-style rifle and
two handguns in December 2012.
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The Newtown massacre, coming on top of other mass shootings, set off
an intense national debate about gun violence. But a few months
later the Senate defeated Obama's proposals to restrict sales of
certain types of guns and require greater background checks.
Gun-rights groups, a powerful national political force, opposed the
measures, saying they would infringe on Americans' constitutional
Blumenthal said the defeated legislation could have given
authorities in Santa Barbara a better chance to intervene in
Rodger's case before the killings and would provide for
"professionals trained in diagnosing and detecting this kind of
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence ranks California as the
state with the strongest gun control measures, requiring background
checks for all firearms sales, regardless of the type of gun or
where it was purchased.
(Reporting by Bill Trott and Lisa Lambert; Editing by Jim Loney and
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