Responding to the massacre in his home state that left 26 people — including 20 children — last week, retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) said Sunday that the country needs a national commission to find ways to prevent mass violence. “We need a national commission on mass violence, not to be in place of anything else the president or Congress or state governments want to do, but to make sure that the heartbreak and anger that we feel now is not dissipated over time or lost in legislative gridlock,” Lieberman said during an appearance on Fox News Sunday. He added later: “We’ve got to continue to hear the screams of these children and see their blood until we do something to try and prevent this from happening again.”
Lieberman expounded on the idea later on Sunday, while attending a vigil for the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
“I’m always reluctant about commissions, but I really believe we ought to have a national commission on violence,” he said, according to a White House pool report. “These events are happening more frequently and I worry that if we don’t take a thoughtful look at them, we’re going to lose the hurt and the anger that we have now.”
Lieberman also called for specific legislation to curb gun violence, joining several Democratic Senators in calling for a new federal assault weapons ban.
“Two things I mentioned was to restore the assault weapons ban, which expired, which existed for 10 years, ’94 to 2004, not enough votes to re-authorise it, and it had a significant effect on murders committed with guns. In other words, down,” Lieberman said, according to the pool report. “The second was, right now the background checks that the Brady Law has, if you go into a licensed federal firearms dealer, you got to be subject to, are pretty good. But if you go into a gun show or you go and buy a gun from some antique dealer, you’re not checked at all. And those to me are two things that would be important.”
Other members of the Connecticut delegation told pool reporters that they met with the President before his visit with the families of the victims Sunday to discuss a legislative response to the shooting. Earlier Sunday, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy said that he believes the state’s gun control laws do not go far enough.
“I think there is an infusion of energy, at least among the seven of us,” Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) said, referring to the state’s Congressional delegation.
“I think we’re at a turning point, a tipping point,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), a former state attorney general and U.S. attorney in Connecticut.
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