Father of Sandy Hook victim speaks out on gun violence
Mark Mattioli: 'The problem is a lack of civility'
- Duration 10:51
- Date Jan 28, 2013
Mark Mattioli: 'The problem is a lack of civility'
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Back -- to the story we mentioned at the top of the hour there -- some very powerful testimony this morning in front of a gun violence task force in Hartford Connecticut.
It came from a man named mark -- we lost his son James in the December 14 school massacre at sandy hook elementary.
He spoke passionately about his son.
The issue of mental health.
And how he thinks that more gun laws.
May not provide all the answers we need that he spoke were told for about 1015 minutes so we've actually called.
The highlights from that.
I think there's much more.
Promise for a solution.
In identifying researching ends.
Creating solutions along the lines of mental health issues I think there is a lot of work that can be done there and I -- our friends.
The Richmond to -- Forging a -- down that road.
I believe these issues especially gun violence are not as complex say you as you've been told there's been a lot on keeping.
Lot of politicians.
Telling you the way that it is and it's very difficult complex I don't believe it's so complex.
I believe the solution may not be as easy to implement as you might X as -- -- my hope but it's a simple concept.
We need civility.
Across our nation.
What we're seeing are symptoms of a bigger problem this is a symptom.
The problem is not the gun laws.
The problem is a lack of civility.
So I'm 42 when I was 25 years ago I was.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- TV today just normal TV fourteen year -- -- out there watching.
Lauren orders EU and and CIS and it's it's just disgusting.
We need civility across our nation we need common decency to prevail.
How is about James his age he was six.
And changed subject for a moment.
So our schools I'm very proud of sandy hook our school is not a building it's teachers to parents for students.
We have some.
-- core values.
I encourage you to visit the web site.
OK we as parents that's our primary jobs.
We asked the schools to.
Contribute to that but we are the primary caregivers and educators and sandy hook is a wonderful.
Okay back to the age six.
My mom took -- to the grocery store.
And my parents -- -- children.
Coming out of the depression so they're not there and entertaining impulse purchases.
So I asked for a pack of bubble gum and my mom says no so I stole it.
Well not did not go over well when my mother discovered this as we pulled into our driveway and she drove back to the -- Made me and to come back to -- to catch here and apologize.
And senator never do it again -- is a type of parenting we need at parenting is.
Where we need to focus our attention we do not need complex laws.
I am a big proponent.
So they're going to be laws we should enforce them.
What I would say -- Chicago has some of the toughest gun laws in the country and I would say.
Two people who wanted to have a civil discussion on -- topic I don't think that gun laws are protecting -- people let alone 500 who perished last year in the NC.
What have those laws done to make Chicago a safer city nothing I proposed.
Can't we do better.
Criminals by definition break the law.
What we experienced in sandy hook it did they break the law of course they -- all these 500 individuals who were killed and -- how they're breaking the law.
Is one more law I don't care you name it -- -- law I don't want that.
I think we have more than up on the books we should.
Hold people individually accountable for their actions and we should enforce.
Laws appropriately and I would say we are not currently it enforcing them appropriately.
That -- father.
You can just imagine I mean it's been just barely a month since his son was murdered in his.
First grade classroom.
Little James manually dead at age six.
Joining me now Bradley and the former deputy assistant to president George W.
Bush and -- -- -- -- a Fox News contributor and former political advisor to New Jersey senator Frank Lautenberg.
It's your reaction -- what a powerful voice.
Powerful reason and common sense approach from a man who has everything to be bitter about.
But he wasn't bitter all I'm a victim of gun bioterrorism was kidnapped when I was eighteen if -- shoot -- up at our house.
The two guys who perpetrated the crime against me.
And my mom they didn't have legal guns.
But my position.
On gun control is the same as mr.
-- the only he has a much.
Harder cross to -- he lost a son James I'm here.
But 88 caution and reason common sense approach to gun control is where America should be we have enough laws and he's right.
We don't have the kind of enforcement we need and then also he spoke to mental health.
That the people who perpetrate these crimes are mentally ill in most cases they're beyond criminal.
They're mentally ill and they should be treated as such we should get them the help they need before they act out.
You know -- if nothing else does it's just at an important new voice to the debate because so many who have.
-- are in favor of gun control have been somewhat dismissive of the other side and their motives you know.
Even the president has suggested that those who -- appears about this or are after ratings are revenue.
It's not what this guys after.
Now quite honest man having a hard time trying to keep it together now as a as a as a mom and then just you know I have all the respect in the world for this man six weeks after the biggest tragedy that could possibly happened -- father.
To go out there and have to say it would be sending you know I respected I don't necessarily agree with everything that he said.
Far be it for me -- for anybody wasn't watching issues to to criticize anything that he's saying.
Look there there's nothing to be sent other than he makes very makes very good points about civility and fortunately -- that you can regulate civility.
These kinds of tragedies happen and then people kind of move on and go back to the status quo what it used to be.
I have to believe we do have we do need some more sensible gun laws for example universal background checks which -- the majority -- -- support.
I think those are -- good idea but look he's right that we need to discuss these civilly.
And again far be it for me -- for for any of us senate even comprehend with this man has gone through in the past six weeks.
-- saw some other parents from Newtown backing the president Brad last week and even the president flanked by children when he made his gun control announcement and yet.
You know mark many only reminds us that there are.
People who are hurting -- -- the as a result of horrific gun violence.
Who see this issue a very different way.
Absolutely and he would he would get up on a soapbox.
And and try and proselytize his views based on his own personal.
Experience with the death of his son James quite the contrary.
He he laid out a good case better than anybody I've heard so far as to how we should approach.
The problem of gun violence in America.
It should be yes civil.
But all she should be factually -- and we have enough laws on the books now if we chose to execute on those laws and and make them.
In word what they mean in action.
And if he gave a powerful.
Demonstration today it is at -- at that hearing I hope that a lot of people not only see it but read his testimony.
And that something is done.
In in the line of his response that we're not going to to go Willy Nilly like they've done in the senate -- -- the senators bill from California.
That -- you know it's it's amazing to me that the senator could could get a bill on gun control yet they can't get to see -- get their act together on a budget it's a knee jerk reaction.
-- just mentally how should I mean you heard him Juli talk about mental -- Versa you know he said at the end.
Criminals by definition break the law is one moral law the answer and he was asking about mental health well you know and I -- to calm fashion.
Foxnews.com few weeks ago about -- that I that I had who was incredibly mentally ill in the point that I was making was that she would be able to go.
To the gun show and purchase a gun of any kind without any kind of background check and so I was saying that essentially what you need is these universal background checks.
At places like gun shows and among private sales to ensure that mentally ill people would not be able to get their hands and -- gun now.
In the case of of sandy hook and fortunately this was not a gun that the killer -- mother purchased it.
C would've got his hands on it anyway but we are talking about mental health.
About people who are mentally ill having access to guns we need to make it much much more difficult for -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Is that we've had these sort of privacy concerns over the past several decades about saying we can't share data are we can't force people -- mental health treatment.
Of course we can't people who are generally -- to do it all the time we we can do it and we should do -- people who are generally.
Genuinely excuse me a danger to society absolutely.
You're right about that now listen thank you both so much for you every and I appreciate it.