Collins Urges Creation of Panel to Look at Mass-Violence Causes

By Sambides, Nick | Bangor Daily News (Bangor, ME), January 1, 2013 | Go to article overview

Collins Urges Creation of Panel to Look at Mass-Violence Causes


Sambides, Nick, Bangor Daily News (Bangor, ME)


U.S. Sen. Susan Collins wants a National Commission on Violence established to probe the causes of mass-casualty horrors such as the school shootings in Newtown and Columbine, she said Tuesday.

Collins, R-Maine, is among a group of influential senators who sought the creation of the commission in a letter to Vice President Joe Biden on Dec. 27. Sens. Joseph I. Lieberman, I-Conn., John McCain, R-Ariz., and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., co-signed the letter.

"Our nation," the letter states, "needs a fuller understanding of why so many of our young people are turning into killers and how to end this recurring nightmare."

The idea resurrects a Lieberman proposal that followed the Columbine shootings in 1999.

"It is my hope that a national commission on mass violence can take a comprehensive look at violence in our country," Collins said in a statement issued Tuesday.

Collins said she sees the commission examining several issues, including:

How society can better identify and care for troubled individuals who pose a threat to themselves and others;

How to close gaps in the database for background checks that are supposed to prevent the dangerously mentally ill from purchasing firearms;

The balance between the availability of high-capacity ammunition and the Second Amendment right to bear arms, and;

Media's possible role in glorifying violence in our media and respect for First Amendment rights. …

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