(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."