Utah reps. talk about mental health changes in wake of Conn. shooting

Posted at 9:15 PM, Dec 19, 2012
and last updated 2012-12-19 23:15:32-05

SALT LAKE CITY – The shooting at a Connecticut elementary school last week prompted calls for stricter gun regulations across the country, but lawmakers in Utah are calling for changes elsewhere.

Republican members of the Utah House of Representatives are talking about mental health and the issue of violence in American movies, television and video games.

Rep. Curt Oda, R-Clearfield, told FOX 13 that banning assault weapons is irrational. He blamed psychotropic drugs and the absence of mental institutions. He isn’t alone in refuting Obama’s call for assault weapons restrictions.

“The problem with a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines is that’s what was in place when Columbine happened. It doesn’t stop the guy who’s intent on causing harm from doing that. All it does is stop the guy who legally buys it or collects or that kind of thing. That’s who it really stops,” said Utah Rep. Paul Ray, R-Davis County.

Democratic Salt Lake County Mayor-elect Ben McAdams said he’s not interested in a discussion about just guns, but also about mental health and cultural influences to be part of the debate.