Video games blamed for Newton, Conn. shooting spree
Republican Rep. Diane Black believes that Adam Lanza’s Newton, Connecticut shooting spree was caused by “violent games, music” and a “broken family,” the Tennessee law maker told MSNBC Thursday.
The media should focus on the cultural causes of gun violence as well as mental health, Black argued. “We have heard a little bit about mental health,” she said. “[T]here’s not any laws that are being proposed on that.”
Addressing violent culture was the “biggest” message from Newtown:
“BLACK: I want to make sure that we’re looking at this issue intelligently and from all — why Adam Lanza did what he did. Unprecedented levels of violent games, music, so on. None of these things that we’re talking about right now that are the biggest in the message is really going to help what happened in Newtown. So I’m disappointed that we’re doing a knee jerk reaction, only talking about it from one end, I think we have to talk about mental illness, about the breakdown of the family, about violence, about holding people who use guns and violent actions accountable, such as in the federal law where there’s a penalty for just possessing a gun.”
Congress has focused almost exclusively on mental illness in stemming the tide of gun violence. The latest preventative measure has been to bar the mentally ill from obtaining firearms and expand access to mental health. Tuesday, Democrats in the House introduced H.R. 848, the Armed Prohibited Persons Act, to “help states launch initiatives to remove guns from the hands of convicted criminals and the dangerously mentally ill.”
President Obama issued a presidential memorandum ensuring that federal agencies are reporting data about mentally ill individuals to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) of people who should not have access to guns. He also pledged to enforce “mental health parity” — the idea that mental health should be treated as a priority as important as physical health — in the Medicaid program.
Asked if she would support any efforts to limit the availability of dangerous fire arms, Black said, “I will not erode our Second Amendment rights.”