May 25th, 2014
12:37 PM ET
9 years ago

After Calif. shooting, senator calls for Congress to revisit gun control legislation

(CNN) – A day and a half after a shooting rampage in California left six victims dead, Sen. Richard Blumenthal said Sunday the tragedy serves as a reminder of the legislative efforts to stem gun violence that occurred in the aftermath of the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting.

The Democrat from Connecticut, appearing on CBS’s "Face the Nation," said statements from the California victims' families bring the nation back to "when it seemed like we were on the verge of, potentially, legislation that would stop the madness and end the insanity."

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Twenty first-graders and six adults died at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14, 2012, the second-deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

Efforts to enact stricter gun laws fizzled in April of last year, when a bill that included stronger federal background checks for gun purchases failed to pass the Senate.

Elliot Rodger, who is accused of killing six people and then himself on Friday night around Santa Barbara, California, passed the background check needed to buy the firearm used in the shooting, a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation told CNN.

But Rodger did suffer from an undisclosed mental health issue, and was under the care of a variety of health care professionals, according to Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown.

Asked if he believes the failed legislation that emerged after Sandy Hook would have prevented Friday's shooting, Blumenthal said at least better mental health resources would have been available.

"The legislation that failed to pass - it got support from 55 senators - would have provided a mental health initiative with more resources, greater ability for the Santa Barbara police to intervene," Blumenthal said.

"I am 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 that we need more resources to make this 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 to act."

Filed under: California • Connecticut • Gun control • Richard Blumenthal • Senate
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. Perfectlysane

    Another NUT rampage and yet another gun FREE ZONE!! California.. TOUGHEST laws in the nation, they SURE WORKED!! You stupid idoic brainwashed sheep just NEVER GET IT!! Richard Martinez should be in prison for allowing his own child to grow to up be a monster. Before the 80s kids brought their shotguns to school for skeet shooting, no mass shooting then.. These are all symptoms of a social fabric break down in the country as result of horrible parenting that grew up in a society that gives mass murders attention they never got through the main stream media. Also we are quickly becoming a dependent drugged up, nutrient depleted society. In every suicide case the autopsy always revealed there was major lack of B vitamins. Our brains and stomachs need B vitamins to make serotonin as well as other neurotransmitters that keeps our chemistry balanced. This can explain why countries who still have garden food as the primary source of diet has almost no suicides. This information will never make it to the main stream media for the clueless one track minded sheep to follow. For those that agree with me copy and paste this and share it with others. Information is power, unfortunately most of it is lies from the global elite always to capitalize on the sheep through the demise of civil rights and wealth.

    May 26, 2014 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
  2. erniemink

    I have always been extremely suspicious of all these so-called random killings/shootings. I predicted years ago, even before Columbine, these kinds of events would occur. From the phony "war on terror" to theater and school shootings, nothing surprises me about this event in the least. it is all about wanting to make the world totally defenseless by using these shootings/killings, random or not, for whatever reason they actually happened, and how they happened. I actually wish in all reality guns were never created in the first place, first of all so the government could not use them against others wrongly as they have so many times. But I do support the Constitution, even though they are trying to get rid of it.

    May 26, 2014 03:16 am at 3:16 am |
  3. mike

    For the NRA it's about money for the gun manufacturers. Once again the root to all evil is alive and well. The devil had another good day, Congradulations NRA.

    May 26, 2014 03:28 am at 3:28 am |
  4. @RI_Roger

    Follow the money.... Where did he get the resources (Dad's money?) to purchase the gun and ammunition? Another spoiled Hollywood brat will be used to foster a political agenda...

    May 26, 2014 06:08 am at 6:08 am |
  5. AppleJuice

    Track down the person that approved his appliation to buy a gun. Put him on TV. Same with the cop that did the welfare check on him after his threats and did nothing. The blood is on their hands. These people have no accountability whatsoever. Stop blaming the NRA. As far as the screaming father, what is your solution, specifically????

    May 26, 2014 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  6. WidePerspectives

    America is obsessed with violence and it is rampant in all forms of entertainment from Hollywood to the football field.

    If you're focused on guns you're applying a band aid to massive hemorrhaging wound. The true problem is how we've accepted this violence to permeate our daily lives.

    A sad story no doubt and I can't imagine the loss these families are experiencing. But let's evolve the conversation and address the problem for what it is...

    May 26, 2014 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  7. Bill from GA

    "when it seemed like we were on the verge of, potentially, legislation that would stop the madness and end the insanity."

    Total BS. No law was being considered that would have made a difference in this recent mass shooting.

    It is totally shameless that each time we have one of these 'gun tragedies' some Congressman wants to use the tragedy to push for more useless gun laws. There is no connection between the proposed new gun laws and the current tragedy. The idiot shooter bought all of his guns legally, they were not exceptional guns that might be made illegal, and millions are owned in this country without causing a problem.

    A better plan would be to work more on why this person went on a rampage. His shooting sounded like he may have been acting out a video game scenario. Or, to greatly reduce gun deaths, enforce the current laws and get guns out of the hands of those already illegally possessing them. Focus on why we have so many day-to-day gun deaths that are not splattered across the headlines. Maybe tougher interstate gun trafficking laws.

    May 26, 2014 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  8. Bill from GA

    Here's an idea:
    Most of these mass shootings involve an above-average intelligence guy. So. let's pass a law requiring an IQ test; if you score above 105, you're gun purchase is restricted.

    Makes as much sense as most other gun laws.

    May 26, 2014 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  9. Bill from GA

    Here's another Great Gun Law:

    If you are crazy enough to want to carry a gun in public, you are probably too crazy to be allowed to carry a gun in public.

    (with apologies to the great Joseph Heller)

    May 26, 2014 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  10. chris

    so much confusion from the news media has you people hearded like cattle every time there's a shooting. 9 times out of 10 these people obtain these weapons illegally the news never tells you that part cause it doesn'rt sound as good, and guess what if a crazy person wants to kill you, they will with whatever they can, be it bombs, knives, hammers, screw drivers or even a rock. NRA protects people who legally obtain carry permits, and legally want to protect themselves and they're families, also the guy that wants to take his family to a shooting range to enjoy a day of practice shooting. people have hobbies its a part of life this one is singled out because of government efforts from corrupt people and if you think your government isn't corrupt or is going to save you when joe shmoe decides to kill you, then your all living under a rock. whats next are going to make a big deal about rocks? should we call them assault rocks? you people need to realize that these new laws and regulations hurt no one except people like me who always follow the rules. the murders and thieves don't care about your rules isnt it obvious? if your on here posting blaming others like the NRA for this guys actions you've been misinformed and under educated on the subject. your entitled to your own opinion but try having more facts or a better understanding of what is actually happening. try reading better sources of information besides the over dramatic news who exaggerate in they're favor. Now think about this if your going to kill people would you go to a place where you know regular people carry for self defense? the simple solution is not strict laws, if more people carried less people would get hurt. its simple logic.

    May 26, 2014 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  11. Lonnie

    I want to know exactly what laws–or changes to existing laws–will prevent this from happening. California already has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation and from what it appears, every gun this guy had was legally purchased and registered.

    May 26, 2014 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  12. JohnnyV

    Loughlin, Holmes, Lanza, and Rodger were all early 20s white males with histories of mental illness who could pass background checks. The problem is the same as drunk driving. We don't ban cars. We keep drunks out of them. Instead of banning guns, we need to identify these young men with severe mental illness and make sure they are treated.

    Somehow or other it's unfashionable to force a few thousand men to take medication or be committed. But it's perfectly acceptable to deny 300 million Americans their 2nd amendment rights.

    May 26, 2014 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  13. Carry a conceled gun in public

    California does not allow anyone to have a CCW license. If Califormnia did allow easy access to CCW licensing, maybe just one of the vicitim would have been saved.
    Wise up ! There are nut head people out there, Bill in GA is clueless. States with the fewest fiirearm laws have the fewest cases of violence..
    Pete Hallock
    Old Town Orcutt, California

    May 26, 2014 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  14. barryinlasvegas

    Quit blaming guns and put the blame where it belongs. These parents knew their kid has serious problems and instead of doing the responsible thing of getting him committed for treatment they let covered up his mental illness.

    To make matters worse, instead of calling the cops and having them pick their son up – they decided to drive to Santa Barbara to see him after they read his crazy writing. A phone call could have stopped this a lot quicker than a 2 hour drive up the coast.

    May 26, 2014 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  15. Charlie

    This guys stabbed 3 people to death, but no one is talking about banning knives. Why? Because banning knives won't do anything to stop deaths by stabbings. So what do you think banning guns would do to solve gun violence? Why do you think police carry guns? Because the only way to stop someone with a gun, is with a gun. Many unarmed people have been killed by police but no one wants to ban guns for police. Do you think if he knew those people were armed he would have tried something like that? Obviously he was a coward because he killed himself in the end. I'd bet if those people he killed were armed his killing spree would have never happened at all. We as a people need to open our eyes and realize that we have the power to stop all of this, and that's by fighting fire with fire. You don't wait for the police or the government to save you or your neighbor from certain death. You take matters into your own hands, and defend yourself, your friends, or your family.

    May 26, 2014 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  16. Rachel

    They're aware that half of those people weren't shot to death, right? He also used sharp objects to stab people to death and mowed people down with his car. This kid was going on a killing spree with or without guns. What lawmakers need to realize is that bad people do bad things because they can. Gun control isn't going to change that.

    May 26, 2014 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  17. Bill from GA

    To: Carry a conceled gun in public

    If you think Americans want to see guns everywhere, I have an idea.

    Maybe around Atlanta, when a big event is in town, like a major Bowl Game or SEC Championship, EVERYBODY gets out, at the airport, downtown, shopping centers, and we all have our guns strapped on.

    Let's see if it has an effect on tourism. Let's see how it effects business.

    Already, most churches, except for the Southern Baptists, have said they don't want guns. Most of us do not want to see guns everywhere. We don't trust you gun nuts. And if you do start shooting, who says another gun nut won't shoot YOU?

    Gun laws should be reasonable, and Georgia has gone past reason.

    May 26, 2014 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  18. Bill from GA

    to Carry a conceled gun in public

    Actually, only my first of three comments was TOTALLY serious; the other two were partly just to give you something to think about. But I do wonder about people who think they need a gun everywhere. And I don't trust them.

    May 26, 2014 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  19. Thomas

    In a country that has more focus on celebrity then mental lines , more guns then pencils . This is what happens .

    We deserve the right to have gun free zones ! And background profiles of gun owners ..

    Guns have turned into an outlet for actualizing frustration for the un happy .

    May 26, 2014 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  20. Morris

    Gun control nuts come out of the woodwork whenever something like this happens.

    May 26, 2014 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  21. Anthony

    Guns don't kill people. People who sell guns to mentally unbalanced people and oppose any form of gun regulations do. Giving guns to anyone, even people who are mentally unbalanced, is like giving the key of a car to someone who is drunk. It does not matter if a product is legal. Alcohol is legal, yet it is against the law to sell alcohol to minors. People who sell guns to anyone are criminally negligent. They should be guilty of involuntary manslaughter when someone dies from their negligence.

    May 26, 2014 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  22. dsa

    Knee jerk reactions will do nothing to address this tragedy or prevent other lunatics from perpetrating such violence. He stabbed three men to death, also used his car as a weapon, and somehow in spite of purported years of therapy had been able to get guns in a very restrictive state (there will no doubt be more revealed on this in the future). He could have killed six people by aiming his car at a crowd and flooring the accelerator – something that previously had been done by another sick individual in the same community. God rest the souls of the victims and peace to their families.

    May 26, 2014 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  23. The Republican Party Is Dead To Me

    It's a shame, the strangle hold the gun lobbyist have on the nation. Whats worse, the empty heads that don't realize that they have been pawns for gun corporation welfare.

    May 26, 2014 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
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