VIDEO: Cornyn Outlines Goals for Potential Legislation on Mental Health, School Safety After Mass Shootings
Monday on the floor, U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) discussed the tragic shooting in Uvalde, Texas and the bipartisan negotiations on potential mental health and school safety legislation. Excerpts of Sen. Cornyn’s remarks are below, and video can be found here.
Like so many people in Texas and across the country, I can't stop thinking about the 19 children and the two teachers who lost their lives in Uvalde, Texas. Over the last several days, 21 families have started burying their loved ones.
Everyone is asking the logical question: how do we stop these sort of things from happening again?
Over the last week-and-a-half, I've been talking, particularly with Senator Murphy, Senator Tillis, Senator Sinema, but literally with everybody I can reach on the phone or get through text message to see if there's some package of mental health and safety legislation that addresses some of the factors that might have prevented the recent shootings in Uvalde and elsewhere.
I want to be clear, though: we are not talking about restricting the rights of current law-abiding gun owners or citizens.
What I'm interested in is keeping guns out of the hands of those who, by current law, are not supposed to have them: people with mental health problems, people who have criminal records.
I'm a proud supporter of the Second Amendment. Period.
We also recognize, though, that there are people who are prohibited by current law from purchasing guns, like the shooter at Sutherland Springs, because of criminal records or mental illness. We're discussing possible additional reforms to keep guns out of the hands of people who are not legally allowed to purchase or possess them in the first place.
If we reach an agreement, law-abiding gun owners will not be impacted at all. Our conversations are ongoing, and indeed all 100 senators will be part of that conversation, but these are the broad parameters of the things that I'm interested in addressing.
We're not talking about banning a category of weapons across the board, a ban for certain high-capacity magazines, or changing the background check system by adding additional disqualifying items. If we're actually serious about finding common ground and building consensus, those sorts of things will stand no chance of passing the Senate.
Instead, we're talking about commonsense, targeted reforms that are responsive to the tragedies at Uvalde and elsewhere and that will, I believe, save lives - strengthening mental health, bolstering school security, keeping guns out of the hands of people who are already legally prohibited from having them. I think a lot of our colleagues could get behind those provisions like they did with the Fix NICS bill.
Following Sutherland Springs, we came up with a targeted bill to address specific circumstances. I hope we can do so again. I will not settle on inadequate or downright harmful legislation for the sake of doing ‘something.’
Targeted reforms, I think, is the way to get to where we need to go.
I understand the desire for quick action, but I hope the Democratic Leader will allow bipartisan discussions to continue and then conclude before he pulls the plug and schedules show votes on something he knows can't pass. He's threatened to do it, but I don't believe we ought to try to meet artificial deadlines.