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NJ Lawmakers Hope New Gun Control Bill Will Prevent Tragedies

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syma-web Syma Chowdhry
Syma Chowdhry joined the CBS 3/The CW Philly’s Eyewitness News tea...
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By Syma Chowdhry 

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) – Mass shootings, like Friday’s deadly rampage in Santa Barbara, California, bring to light the highly debated gun control issue.

Events like this can prompt change, as Richard Martinez, the father of one the victims, hopes for:

“The reality is that these things have happened far too many times.”

New Jersey lawmakers say they are taking steps to prevent these tragedies. A bill to limit gun magazine size is now heading to Governor Christie’s desk.This was in response to the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary.

“If you don’t have the courage to look these families in the eye and understand the anguish and the suffering they have gone through, then you don’t understand the issue,” Assemblyman Louis Greenwald explained.

Friday’s rampage left six people dead and 13 injured – before the shooter, Elliot Rodgers, turned the gun on himself.

Rodgers had a manifesto explaining his need for revenge – especially towards women who have turned him down.He also posted a video the night before the shootings, talking about his “retribution.”

Frank Farley is a psychology professor at Temple University and the former President of the American Psychological Association.  He said his first thought when he turned on the news Friday…

“Here we go again, another mass murder.”

After reviewing Rodger’s video and manifesto, Farley said it is clear this was a troubled individual. In fact, reports say Rodger’s own family sought help for him.

Farley says this is not just a gun issue, but also a mental health issue:

“The key thing for me is preventing future similar tragedies. How did he even get these guns, when he is allegedly in psychiatric or psychological treatment?”

And with red flags on the internet,  Farley says law enforcement officials should use it as a tool for prevention:

“An early warning system where we track all of the media that people are living in, today young people live in the media. They live online.”

Farley also says it is imperative for lawmakers to consider mental health evaluations when it comes to gun laws to prevent future tragedies.

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