In the wake of several recent mass shootings, surrogates for both presidential campaigns offered different approaches to curbing gun violence and preventing future attacks.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, said one of the roots of these attacks is a lack of mental health programs and he criticized Mitt Romney, saying the Republican presidential nominee would cut funding for such programs.
“I do worry that some of the cuts that Gov. Romney is proposing are going to cut funding in all manner of levels for mental health,” Hickenlooper said on NBC’s Meet the Press. “We've got some crazy folks out there that are just completely delusional. We’ve got to be able to identify that sooner and get them into treatment. Get them off the street before they do some sort of insane act.”
Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker, speaking on the same show, didn't directly respond to Hickenlooper's claims about Romney, instead addressing the issue through the prism of domestic violence.
“We need greater focus … on tightening up domestic violence laws—that’s where the biggest problem was in the recent tragedy in the state of Wisconsin,” Walker said. “We didn't do enough in this state apparently at the local level to adequately enforce those laws, we didn't do enough to stand up for domestic violence victims at our state and local level, and I think that's something that is not ... partisan.”
Both Wisconsin and Colorado have experienced shooting incidents in the last year in which large numbers of people were killed. However, gun violence has not been widely discussed in the presidential election.