Blumenthal: ‘Congress Will Be Complicit If We Fail To Act’ On Gun Control For Mentally Ill
HARTFORD (CBS Connecticut/AP) — Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., warns that Congress will be complicit if any mass shootings if they fail to pass legislation that prevents the mentally ill from buying guns.
“We need more resources to make the country healthier and to make sure that these kinds of horrific, insane, mad occurrences are stopped,” Blumenthal told CBS News’ “Face the Nation.” “And the Congress will be complicit if we fail to act.”
Blumenthal’s comments come after a Friday night mass shooting where Santa Barbara authorities say that 22-year-old Elliot Rodger killed six people before committing suicide. Blumenthal said the Santa Barbara shootings reminded him of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Conn., where gunman Adam Lanza killed 26 people, including 20 children.
“I really, sincerely hope that this tragedy, this unimaginable, unspeakable tragedy will provide an impetus to bring back measures that will keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people who are severely troubled or deranged like this young man was, and provide resources,” Blumenthal told CBS News. “We need mental health resources and that initiative, I hope, will provide a common ground, a point of consensus that will bring us together in the Congress and enable the majority.”
Despite Rodger purchasing the three handguns used in the shootings legally, Blumenthal indicated that last year’s failed Senate bill would have provided more resources for police departments to intervene on those diagnosed with mental illness trying to purchase guns.
“Obviously, not every kind of gun violence is going to be prevented by law, it’s out of Washington, but at least we can make a start,” Blumenthal told CBS News.
Rodger’s family has disclosed their son was under the care of therapists.
Rodger posted at least 22 YouTube videos. He wrote in his manifesto that he uploaded most of his videos in the week leading up to April 26, when he originally planned to carry out his attacks. He postponed his plan after catching a cold.
“On the week leading up to date I set for the Day of Retribution, I uploaded several videos onto YouTube in order to express my views and feelings to the world, though I don’t plan on uploading my ultimate video until minutes before the attack, because on that video I will talk about exactly why I’m doing this,” Rodger wrote.
In the final video posted Friday, he sits in a black BMW in sunset light and appears to be acting out scripted lines and planned laughs.
“I’ll take great pleasure in slaughtering all of you,” the son of a Hollywood director who worked on “The Hunger Games” says.
In his videos and writings, Rodger voices his contempt for everyone from his roommates to the human race, reserving special hate for two groups: the women he says kept him a virgin for all of his 22 years and the men they chose instead.
The rampage played out largely as he sketched it in public postings. He said he would start by “silently killing as many people as I can around Isla Vista by luring them into my apartment through some form of trickery.” He said he would knock them out with a hammer, and slit their throats.
On Sunday, the sheriff’s office identified the final victims as Cheng Yuan Hong, 20, and George Chen, 19 — both from San Jose — and Weihan Wang, 20, of Fremont. Hong and Chen were listed on the lease as Rodger’s roommates.
Investigators were trying to determine whether Wang was a roommate or was visiting the apartment.
Around 9:30 p.m., the shooting rampage began and lasted about 10 minutes.
In the end, he shot and killed three others at random, and injured 13 more either with gunshots or the BMW that he used as a battering ram against bicyclists and skateboarders.
Deputies found three semi-automatic handguns along with 400 unspent rounds in the car. All were purchased legally.
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