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Our first guest tonight says gun laws are -- critical part of this national discussion.
But the country also needs he says -- to respond to the mental health issues when it comes to mass shootings as well as the corrosive influence.
Of the digital world and the culture of violence joining us former Homeland Security secretary.
Former governor of Pennsylvania Tom Ridge who also served on the review panel to study the Virginia Tech shooting.
Which claimed the lives of 32 people governor it's good to have you with us.
Let let's start with first the call for.
For legislation here.
Senator Dianne Feinstein is putting forward something of which I'm sure very familiar do you and that is the assault weapons ban.
Which you supporter when you're in congress back from 1994.
What are your thoughts.
Well I think it's is certainly understandable Lou predictable actually that the first focuses on.
The instruments of this tragedy the instruments of war.
And those -- the that's the firearms in the guns.
But I think and I hear of all this language -- at a tipping point that this is a game changer.
I've heard the same language after column by under the same language after Virginia Tech where the same language after the Arora shootings.
And we're hearing again unless we take a far more comprehensive look.
Add to know what the -- that the root causes of of some of this violence a single piece of legislation is going to do very little in May do some.
May have some impact on reducing the risk of further red tragedies such as this.
About I think the effect will be limited we do have to talk about other rights and other challenges the rights of privacy of mental health records mental health treatment.
And I do think in spite of the disagreement that I have with some people that the corrosive impact.
Of violence particularly on those who are troubled -- mental health challenges.
I do think it has an impact on their view of of life -- end as of people without those challenges I would look differently.
We are seeing.
Actually some surprising their pronouncements from across -- political spectrum.
Senator Joseph mansion for whom you know.
Coming -- to talk about banning assault weapons again.
Actor Jamie Foxx.
For from collapse some would argue the far left.
Actually talking about the need to constrain violence in Hollywood in media.
We're starting to see at least here.
Now more than 72 hours after the tragedy in Connecticut.
We're starting to see some sensibility.
Present itself in terms of dealing.
Four straightforwardly and honestly -- this issue.
Model overdue and should be welcomed by everybody in the conversation.
If you take a look at the some of the more significant high profile incidents -- in.
And ended the horror associated with these murders in these massive killings -- -- back.
And you take a look at the perpetrators.
And -- you'd take a look at that they're self expressions of either suicidal tendencies -- they told others of their intent to kill.
These were planned activities in many instances.
Self destructive behavior many of them had certainly it certainly in that showcase in Virginia Tech a clear pattern of mental health illness and fatter and matter of fact it was a deteriorating pattern.
That mental health illness and until we wrestle around the notion.
That we got to get away from the statement sizing mental health that we have to figure out a way to make sure that those who are being treated for mental health problems don't have access to firearms and -- we wrestle with a very complicated problems of privacy particularly with a guy -- medical conditions.
I know they're focusing on -- guns and gun regulations but -- -- look holistic way unfortunately this pattern will probably repeat itself.
And the characteristics of that you're talking about a the Virginia -- it's also.
And appear at least some of those characteristics to appear.
In this tragedy in Newtown Connecticut.
In -- little discussion from one -- into the next to try to understand.
The context in the public policy.
Campus -- that that is relevant and we're looking at what has been over the course of the last fifteen years.
A series of public policy decisions.
When it comes to mental health as you well know in this country.
Many of them a travesty and and for which we're paying.
-- very very high price and he.
And sadly there you you again and shows such as yours and others that to have the way due to it to faction the discussion it really needs to be a rational thoughtful discussion.
About the measures that we can take and predictably and understandably guns are going to be a focus.
But the complexity the issue is far more than just dealing with the instruments of care.
And -- and we know that they have to think of all the parties in and celebrations around this holiday season -- can you imagine a conversation.
When one parent says to -- well how does your son doing.
Well my son was doing pretty well but we've had some mental health problems.
And he's under treatment is under therapy mean we have just stay with ties mental health but we don't stick with ties alcoholism or drug abuse.
This is a pervasive problem and we really have to get our arms around it and those who have these mental health problems.
And should not have access to firearms and there are some other changes -- I think -- would be get legitimately considered.
Column mind who you had a I think you had a phantom -- straw buyer or to somebody who bought the weapon and gave it somebody else.
In shows situation you know we was under a example justice religion of course cities a danger to himself -- -- community and yet he was able to buy a firearm.
The complexity of the issue call for rational thoughtful discussion and not just focusing on -- a piece of legislation.
Governor Tom rich.
Thanks for being with us -- really -- of that conversation right here.
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