U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman renewed his call Monday for a national commission to study the violence in the wake of the tragic Newtown shootings that took 28 lives Friday.
Speaking live on MSNBC with host Chuck Todd, Lieberman said that mass shootings have been occurring on an increasing basis across the country, including Columbine High School in 1999, a movie theatre in Colorado last summer and most recently at an elementary school in Newtown.
“There is a pattern, and that’s why I proposed the commission,” Lieberman said Monday morning. ”This has to be a national discussion in which we all sit down at the table and say, ‘These are our children.’ ”
After holding public hearings, the commission would issue a report with recommendations.
Lieberman said he was not sure which new gun-control laws could pass in Congress, where Republicans control the U.S. House of Representatives and Democrats control the U.S. Senate. He noted that “gun-control measures are put into Congress and boxed up.”
Lieberman, for years, has been an outspoken opponent of violent video games.
“We have to tone down the violence in our entertainment culture,” he said. “We’re so appropriately protective of our freedom. … There’s a lot of better ways to make money in the entertainment culture.”
He noted that, under current law, some videos are not supposed to be purchased by minors.
“Are those being enforced?” Lieberman asked. “Is there more we can do?”
Lieberman also said there is no need for civilians to have assault weapons, adding that would not infringe on anyone’s right to hunt lawfully.
“These are weapons that were created by the U.S. military for use in war,” Lieberman said.
Soon after, Lieberman appeared live on CNN with host Carol Costello at about 10 a.m. Monday.
“The last time we really adopted a law on guns was 1993 or 1994. That took seven years to pass,” Lieberman said. “We all have to engage the NRA and people we know who have guns. … If the president could do something now by executive order, God bless him. … I think this is going to be a centerpiece of his second term.”
On CNN on Monday morning, host Don Lemon in Newtown said, ”For the past three days, I have been on the verge of tears every second. … Mental health is a secondary issue” after guns.