Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and conservative columnist George Will told a Sunday panel on ABC News that gun violence in the United States was caused by mental illness, video games, violence in the media and even “unparented” boys from single-parent homes — but they refused to accept that gun control was part of the problem.
“Look, I’m a concealed-carry permit holder,” Chaffetz explained. “I own a Glock 23. I’ve got a shotgun. I’m not the person you need to worry about. And there are millions of Americans who deal with this properly. It’s our Second Amendment right to do so. But we have to look at the mental health access that these people have.”
“The gun rules are very stringent. There’s a lot conjecture out there that I don’t think would necessarily solve this particular problem. And I want to look at anything we think will solve all the problems, but we have to, I think, look at the mental health aspect.”
“As a parent, we all shed a tear,” Chaffetz added as he choked up. “You put violence and death and gore in a movie, you’re not going to get an R rating. You do something else, okay. I got to tell you, I think the movie ratings are terribly misleading when it comes to violence, death, gore and glamorizing.”
Will, however, pointed to boys in single-parent homes as a source of the problem.
“We ought to bring in Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago,” he insisted. “Chicago is an epidemic of violence with young, largely unparented — that is, no father in the home — adolescent males. That’s a problem quite separate from this.”
The conservative columnist also worried that the massacre of 20 children at an elementary school in Connecticut would be used to “ratchet up the security of schools and elsewhere in public spaces.”
“Our public spaces are already blighted by this,” Will ranted. “For generations, people have been using the water on the [National] Mall to run little sailing boats. Now, the government in its wisdom has banned remote-control little boats on the mall water in Washington because it somehow represents a security threat to the country. We have to be a little bit reasonable.”
Watch this video from ABC’s This Week, broadcast Dec. 16, 2012.