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Giuliani: Obama Gun Bill Needs Stronger Mental-Health Provisions

By Todd Beamon   |   Monday, 08 Apr 2013 11:12 PM

Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said on Monday that the major problem facing President Barack Obama’s proposed gun-control legislation was that it failed to substantively address mental-health issues.

“If you’re not addressing the mental-health part of this, you’re not really addressing the problem,” Giuliani, who served as mayor from 1994 to 2001, told Piers Morgan on CNN. “That’s 70 percent of the problem. Gun control is probably 30 percent of the problem.

“The president could have made it more difficult for Republicans to vote against it, and probably could’ve gotten more Republicans to vote for it, if he had included substantial mental-health provisions,” he said.

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Earlier on Monday, President Obama warned Congress not to delay passing gun-control legislation.

“If you're an American who wants to do something to prevent more families from knowing the immeasurable anguish that these families know, now is the time to act,” Obama told an audience of families of the Dec. 14 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

“Now is the time to get engaged, to get involved, to push back on fear, frustration, and misinformation,” he said. “Now is the time to make your voice heard from every state house to the corridors of Congress.”

The president’s legislation is facing resistance on Capitol Hill, leaving its fate in doubt. Senate Democrats have been unable to reach an agreement with Republicans over expanded background checks, while other GOP legislators have pledged to filibuster any gun bill that makes it to the Senate floor.

Giuliani told Morgan that Obama also could have enhanced his bill with stronger proposals to increase the accuracy of the national background checks system, including provisions addressing new technology.

“A lot of the background checks that we do are inaccurate,” he said.

The former mayor added that Republicans do not need to filibuster the legislation.

Last month four, GOP senators said they would filibuster gun-control legislation that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has pledged to move to the floor this week.

They are Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Mike Lee of Utah, Ted Cruz of Texas, and Marco Rubio of Florida. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, also of Kentucky, said on Monday that he would join the group.

“The Senate should vote,” Giuliani told Morgan. “Everybody should vote up or down on this. They’re probably going to defeat it anyhow, even if there was no filibuster.

“But even if they don’t, you still have a Republican House you have to get it through. I don’t know why the Republican Party is creating this problem for itself.

“If they want to block this legislation, they have a House of Representatives in which to do it,” Giuliani added. “I don’t see why they’re creating this additional political issue that isn’t required.”

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