WASHINGTON, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said mental-health care, not gun control, should be the priority in preventing violence by people with psychiatric problems.
Speaking on CBS's "Face the Nation" Sunday, Giuliani said there has been a chronic lack of follow-up care for people with mental issues in the United States that has repeatedly contributed to acts of violence such as last weekend's shooting spree in Tucson.
"The most relevant problem was the lack of an ability to deal with what was apparently paranoid schizophrenia that should have been treated," Giuliani said. "Then I would re-establish a situation of civility, which we seem to be doing, so we can talk to each other about gun laws without yelling at each other."
The former mayor said he felt the heated political rhetoric surrounding the Tucson incident had cooled off quickly as more information about accused gunman Jared Loughner's mental state became public.
Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., said he expected the rhetorical tone in Congress to be more civilized when the repeal of the Obama healthcare reform plan is debated; however, he said the substance of the controversy would remain the same and cautioned that it would be easy for lawmakers to "slip back into the old ways."