Former AM Benjamin on Gun Control and Mental Health

The deadly shooting in Aurora, CO, has restarted the debate over gun control. But Assemblyman Michael Benjamin argues that the better way to prevent crimes is by improving mental health care.

Former Assemblyman Michael Benjamin thinks the renewed call for stricter gun control laws that predictably came in the wake of the Aurora, Colo. movie theater shooting is misplaced.

The problem, he says, is not guns – although he does support stronger regulation of body armor and on-line ammo sales.

Benjamin, a conservative New York City Democrat who used to be a member of the NRA, thinks the focus should be on mental health treatment and catching would-be shooters before they act. His position is unusual, particularly for an urban African-American Democrat. He joined us to explain his thinking from NY1’s Chelsea Market studios. [Capital Tonight]

On Friday night, I joined CapTon host Liz Benjamin for a discussion about the importance of improving our mental health infrastructure rather than increasing gun controls. Criminals and the mentally ill don’t care about gun laws. Untreated mental illness makes people deadlier weapons than any semi-automatic rifle, handgun or hi-capacity magazine clip. I called for strengthening our mental health care system.

We also talked my brief National Rifle Association  membership.

Check out the video on CapTon – Former AM Benjamin on Gun Control and Mental Health.

Also see my blog article-  An Urban Position on Gun Control, after Aurora (and Behagen Park) and Obamacare and the mentally ill.

About SquarePegDem

A former state legislator turned NY Post editorial board member, thought-leader, public affairs consultant and commentator, columnist and blogger. Michael has appeared on Al Jazeera America Tonight, NY1/Inside City Hall, LIVE, YNN/Capital Tonight, The Brian Lehrer Show, The Fred Dicker Show, The Capitol Press Room, and The Daily Show. His op-eds have appeared in the NY Post, City and State, The Legislative Gazette, Bronx Times, The Troy Record, Buffalo News, and the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. To schedule speaking engagements, email FOMB08@GMAIL.COM.
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