December 19, 2012

More in Congress ready to weigh gun controls

Gun-rights advocates say mental illness and violent video games should also be part of the discussion.

By LARRY MARGASAK The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

David Cicilline
click image to enlarge

Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., speaks outside the Capitol in support of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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On Monday, NRA member Manchin, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa -- senior Republican on the Judiciary Committee -- said it's time for a debate that would include gun control. Reid previously had taken pro-gun positions for years.

Not all Republicans were willing to go as far as Grassley or Kingston, but they didn't rule out tackling gun control.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell told reporters, "The entire Congress is united in condemning the violence in Newtown and on the need to enforce our laws. As we continue to learn the facts, Congress will examine whether there is an appropriate and constitutional response that would better protect our citizens."

At a regular, private House Republican meeting Tuesday, Rep. Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania, a psychologist, led a discussion on mental illness, which he described as the primary cause of mass shootings.

Murphy said he told colleagues that mental illness was the common link in similar tragic incidents and "we have to stop pretending it doesn't exist. We need to understand what it is that triggers changes in someone."

"I see it as the center of the issue. Get mental illness out of the shadows," he said.

 

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