“Clearly, the latest tragedy has convinced me certain assault weapons should be banned. I support the right to bear arms,” Tisei said, adding that he does not understand why someone should be allowed to have a weapon such as the one the Colorado shooter possessed.
Tisei said his opposition to the state ban in 2004 was because the bill was too broad and included tight restrictions on gun ownership that prevent someone with a minor criminal record from owning a gun. He recalls state lawmakers having to pass emergency legislation to allow for a Patriots Day re-enactment of the Battle of Lexington and Concord, given that some of those Revolutionary War weapons with bayonets had characteristics of the banned guns.
While the Colorado shooter’s mental status is not known, Tisei said the tragedy may serve as a call to improve the nation’s mental health system, to somehow identify people who may be intent upon harming others.
“Maybe we should put more resources into mental health,” he said.
Tierney agreed, saying it is not a bad idea to have services and outreach for mental health screening.
Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.