Bennet Outlines Next Steps in Wake of Shootings Including Assault Weapons Ban, Access to Mental Health Services

Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet released the following statement outlining the steps he supports in the wake of the shootings in Aurora and Newtown to help keep the wrong weapons out of the hands of the wrong people.

“Last week’s shooting in Newtown was heartbreaking beyond description.  Parents all across this country couldn’t help seeing the faces of our own children in the faces of the students at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  Almost a week later, we still do.

“In the aftermath of this tragedy, one of the most terrible realizations for us as parents is that no matter what we do, no matter how careful we are, no matter what laws we pass, evil can strike our children.  We cannot seal our children off and expect them to be children, and there will always be risk in this world.  We know this.

“But we have a duty to mitigate that risk.  The shooters in Aurora and Newtown should not have had access to the guns or magazines they used.  I believe a combination of improved access to mental health services, restrictions on certain weapons intended for the battlefield, and elimination of the gun show loophole are sensible steps that can reduce our children’s risk.

“In Colorado, we support the Second Amendment right to bear arms, we support the ability of people to hunt and recreate and to protect their families and homes, and we want to keep the wrong weapons out of the hands of the wrong people.

“Our country must come together on a whole host of issues, but surely none of them could matter more than keeping our children safe and providing them with secure places to learn and grow.  Colorado knows this.  Governor Hickenlooper’s efforts to expand access to mental health services put us in position to lead the nation.  And, I believe, we can lead the nation on the broader discussion as well.  As the President’s taskforce begins its work, we will ensure that Colorado’s voices are heard.”