The newly sworn in freshman Democratic senator from North Dakota told George Stephanopoulos on his “This Week” ABC News program that President Barack Obama’s agenda to further restrict gun rights will not pass Congress.
“Well, I think you need to put everything on the table, but what I hear from the administration — and if the Washington Post is to be believed — that’s way — way in extreme of what I think is necessary or even should be talked about–and it’s not going to pass,” said Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), who defeated former Republican Rep. Rick Berg by 2,994 votes in the 2012 general election.
Stephanopoulos asked the former North Dakota attorney general, “You’re a proud NRA member in the state of North Dakota, are you willing to sign on to some of the reforms that Vice President Biden and President Obama are already talking about?”
She said, “I think what we need to do is we need to take a look at what happened at Sandy Hook. When I was attorney general, I was tasked with a national task force on school violence.”
Those measures were similar to the security procedures in place at the Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Conn., where a spree-shooter killed 26 teachers and students, she said.
“We made a number of recommendations which, in fact, were adopted at Sandy Hook to help keep schools safer. They weren’t adequate,” she said.
The senator said the real problem is that individuals, who are mentally ill, are not getting the help they need.
“Let’s start addressing the problem. And to me, one of the issues that I think comes — screams out of this is the issue of mental health and the care for the mentally ill in our country, especially the dangerously mentally ill,” she said.
“We need to have a broad discussion before we start talking about gun control.”