Christie on Gun Violence: Put the Focus on Mental Health
Gov. Chris Christie weighed in on the country's gun laws following controversial comments by Republican presidential rivals Donald Trump and Jeb Bush.
Calling the shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseberg,Oregon, "an awful tragedy," Christie told ABC This Week host George Stephanopoulos that the focus needs to be put on mental health and take some of the murkiness out of the law.
"Let's make involuntary commitment of people who speak violently easier for doctors," said Christie, who says he has proposed similar legislation in New Jersey.
The governor also seemed to brush off calls for tougher laws following the shooting.
"In many of the places around this country where they have the toughest gun laws, they have the highest violent crime rates," citing increases of 11 percent in New York and 19 percent in Chicago as examples. "Let's enforce the law ... in an aggressive way as we should."
Christie says that measures such as the one he proposed because they don't make headlines. "It's not taking away anybody's guns. It doesn't create a headline. So they don't want to deal with it."
At a forum in South Carolina on Friday, Bush said he learned as Florida governor that "stuff happens ... there's always a crisis, and the impulse is to do something, and it's not necessarily the right thing to do."
Bush later defended his use of the phrase "stuff happens." He says he was speaking generally about tragedies, not Thursday's shooting that left 10 people dead, including the gunman.
Trump, meanwhile, said in a rally in suburban Nashville that he has a handgun carry permit in New York. He added that any attacker will be "shocked" if he tries to assault him, and that he would emulate Bronson in the vigilante film "Death Wish."
"Can you imagine with Trump, somebody says, 'Ohhh, all these big monsters aren't around, he's easy pickins, and then ... pu-ching!" Trump said to laughter and applause. "So this is about self-defense, plain and simple."
The Associated Press contributed to this report