All spoke a week after a massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., that left 20 first-graders and six staff dead. The slaughter of children has awoken the nation to what President Obama calls an “epidemic” of gun violence in a way that earlier mass shootings – in Tucson, Ariz., and Aurora, Colo. – have not.
Notably, Rep. Mike Thompson (D) of California, chairman of the new congressional Gun Violence Prevention Task Force that was formed in response to the massacre last Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School, did not explicitly reject the NRA’s proposal to put armed guards in every school. Instead, he called for a fuller response to gun violence that addresses mental health services, access to guns and ammunition, and American culture.
“Everyone agrees our schools, movie theaters, shopping malls, streets, and communities need to be safer,” Congressman Thompson said in a statement. “But we need a comprehensive approach that goes beyond just arming more people with more guns to make this happen.”
“Closing holes in our mental health system, addressing our culture’s glorification of violence, improving background checks for everyone who buys firearms, and reinstating the ban on assault weapons and assault magazines all must be part of a comprehensive approach to reduce and prevent gun violence,” the statement continued.