Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) on Sunday said that gun control laws were not the answer to mass shootings because hatchets, guns, cars and video games all had a role in violent deaths in the United States.
"What I'm hearing is that people want to make certain that -- first of all -- that we protect the Second Amendment and their Second Amendment rights -- protect their freedom and not impede that," Blackburn told CNN's Candy Crowley, adding that the focus should really be on "psychiatric and psychotropic drugs."
"They are also wanting to make certain we get in behind these video games. I watched a couple of these last night in preparation for this segment and, Candy, as a mother and as a grandmother, I was astounded with some of the things I was seeing on 'Call to Duty' [sic]. And, of course, we know the Norway shooter would go in and use that as target practice."
Crowley observed that "the steam for a ban on assault weapons is slowly coming out of the balloon" as time passes after the December mass shooting of 20 children in Newtown, Connecticut.
But New York Times National Political Correspondent Jeff Zeleny pointed out that a defeat of the assault weapons ban would not bring down the entire effort to curb gun violence.
"I think that the president is committed to this," he explained. "Probably background checks, probably the [high-capacity] ammunition clips. But there is going to be another shooting probably, sadly. So, this is going to stay in the consciousness. I don't think this is going to recede."
"But the problem is that it could be a hammer, a hatchet, a car, a gun," Blackburn argued.
"But hammers, hatchets and cars aren't quite as fast as those clips," Crowley noted.
"We're still needing to look at this mental health," Blackburn continued. "And you have to make sure that you're protecting an individual's rights."