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Lieberman calls for violence commission

Dec. 16, 2012 at 12:40 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- A U.S. senator from Connecticut Sunday proposed a national commission on violence to seek ways to prevent a repeat of last week's school massacre in his state.

Sen. Joe Lieberman told "Fox News Sunday" debating gun control, media violence and mental health separately was not leading to constructive steps to prevent shooting sprees like the one that left 26 people dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown at the hands of 20-year-old Adam Lanza, who also killed his mother and himself.

"This reminds me of the days and weeks after the terrorist attacks against us of 9/11," Lieberman, an independent, said. "At one point, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and I turned to each other and said, we can't let this just go. We've got to create a national commission to investigate exactly the questions we're asking about Newtown -- how could this have happened and is there anything we can do to try to prevent it from happening again?"

Lieberman said he saw the Newtown carnage as a potential watershed that would rally Democrats and Republicans to tighten up laws on assault weapons, tone down media violence and encourage mental-health agencies, schools and parents to be more proactive in getting help for people they suspect are becoming unbalanced.

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, took issue with the idea stricter gun laws would curb such violence. He told Fox most recent high-profile shootings took place in states with tight laws and proposed a better-armed population would also cut violence by making it possible for witnesses and victims to shoot back at attackers.

"Every time ... concealed-carry has been allowed, the crime rate has gone down," Gohmert said. "Washington, D.C., ought to be the safest place in America and it is not. Chicago ought to be safe, but it's not because their gun laws don't work."

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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