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State Sen. Stewart Greenleaf wants to create gun violence task force

By Catherine Hawley, Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Jan 30 2013 02:54:25 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 14 2013 01:45:54 PM CST

Greenleaf wants gun violence task force

HARRISBURG, Pa. -

It's been a month since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school left 20 first graders and six staff members dead. It was the second deadliest school shooting in U.S. history after the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre.

Pa. Sen. Stewart Greenleaf, R-Bucks/Montgomery counties, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, has issued a memorandum saying he wants to create a gun violence prevention task force.

"There continues to be instances of violence such as this and we can't not address it," said Greenleaf.

The committee will study the underlying causes of these tragedies and other violent crimes, Greenleaf said. The proposed resolution would allow the task force experts to examine issues surrounding gun violence.

"We'll be reaching out to professionals psychologists, psychiatrists, behavioral specialists, law enforcement," explained Greenleaf.

He said there's been huge support for the idea and it makes sense to create a task force to come up with comprehensive solutions.

"We want to look at everything," said Greenleaf. "Everything that possibly could contribute to these instances and then make recommendations of how do we as a society resolve these issues."

And he's not just focusing on gun control. According to Greenleaf, regulation of firearms is not the only solution to prevent mass shootings.

"Because there's mental illness involved in this, there's bullying involved in this, there's other things involved in this and we can't narrow our outlook just in gun control."

Greenleaf said the task force will report recommendations to the legislature in less than a year so the solutions can become the focus.