On Fox News Sunday this morning, Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) refused to answer questions about any specific gun control legislation he would consider supporting in the aftermath of the Newtown shooting. Host Chris Wallace referenced the suggestion made by the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre that schools need more armed guards and also President Obama’s call for more gun control, but all Barrasso could offer is that he is a “strong supporter of our Second Amendment rights.”
In fact, he suggested he might not support any relevant national legislation because “Washington is not necessarily the place” to find “real solutions”:
BARRASSO: We are, the people of Wyoming and me personally, still absolutely committed to find real solutions that work so nothing like this tragedy ever happens again… I think decisions about schools ought to be made at the local level. I would not want a national effort to say you have to do this in schools. I think local education decisions are best made at the local level. You know, we’re going to have a very spirited discussion in Congress, in the beginning of next year. We need to look at all of the issues, because what Wayne LaPierre and what the President of the United States agree on is that in this country, we have a culture of violence. [...]
I’m a strong supporter of our Second Amendment rights. I want to find real solutions. I want to find real solutions that work and Washington is not necessarily the place that you’re going to find those solutions. They will be found in our families and in our faith and communities and medicine and health care.
Barrasso claimed that health care is part of the solution to the “culture of violence,” but he has led the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The American Psychiatric Association has said the law is crucial to extending mental health parity throughout the health care system and expanding access to mental health services to prevent tragedies like the Newtown shooting in the future. He also has supported decreased funding for health programs.
The NRA endorsed Barrasso this year, awarding him with an “A” rating for his support of their positions.