Governor Scott Walker is arguing Wednesday’s shooting of a TV news crew in Virginia highlights the need for improving access to mental health services.
The shooting, in which a journalist and cameraman were fatally shot and a woman was injured during a live television broadcast, has sparked new calls for tougher gun laws. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has said keeping guns from being so readily available could prevent such tragedies.
Walker, who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination, called Clinton’s remarks a “political reaction.” During a campaign stop in Iowa Thursday, he argued the issue is “much more sophisticated and challenging than that.”
Walker said an often ignored aspect of shootings is the mental health of the gunman. “What has been a common thread throughout many of these tragic situations are people who have…fallen through the cracks when it comes to the warning signs of chronic mental illness issues,” while noting that his administration has made efforts to increase access to mental health services in Wisconsin.
Wednesday’s shooting claimed the lives of reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward. The suspected shooter, a former employee of the same TV station, later died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The woman they were interviewing, an official with the Smith Mountain Lake chamber of commerce, was also shot, but is reportedly recovering and in “good” condition.