Mental health key to gun violence, GOP congressman says - CBS46 News

Mental health key to gun violence, GOP congressman says

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Congressman Tim Murphy, R-PA, wants to shift the discussion from gun laws to mental health issues following the Friday night shooting rampage in California. (Source: CNN) Congressman Tim Murphy, R-PA, wants to shift the discussion from gun laws to mental health issues following the Friday night shooting rampage in California. (Source: CNN)

WASHINGTON, DC (CNN) - In the debate over gun control laws, a Pennsylvania congressman is pushing for a greater focus on mental health issues.

The recent killing spree in California has fueled calls for stricter gun control laws.

But Congressman Tim Murphy, R-PA, said he believes the key to helping prevent acts of violence is providing more resources to those with mental health issues.

"Well, it's not what's in their hands, it's what is in their mind and heart that we've got to deal with," Murphy said. "The issue of guns, California has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation bar none. And so it didn't work there. It also has what's called assisted outpatient treatment laws which are up to individual counties to put into place. California isn't dealing with that. That happens all around the country. Some places like New York and counties in Texas and Dade County in Florida do a lot more to provide those kind of services and intervention for somewhat serious mental illness. I'm telling you that's the case. Are we going to cure diabetes by banning some soft drinks? Are we going to cure heart disease by banning certain kinds of meat? That's not the issue."

Police say Elliot Rodger, who had a history of mental health issues, stabbed three people to death before shooting and killing three others in California.

Murphy is sponsoring the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, which seeks to improve the mental health system.

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