POLITICS

Mark Warner: Gun Control Is Needed (VIDEO)

12/17/2012 04:42 pm ET | Updated Dec 17, 2012

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) came out in favor of tighter gun laws on Monday, telling CBS 6 News that "enough is enough."

"I'm a father of three daughters and this weekend they all said, dad, you know, how can this go on?" said Warner, who has an "A" rating from the National Rifle Association.

Warner was the second pro-gun Democratic senator to express openness to new gun legislation in the wake of Friday's deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Earlier on Monday, Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said "everything has to be on the table."

During a sit-down interview, Warner pressed for Democrats and Republicans to join together in support of stricter gun laws but did not specify what that would entail.

"I, like, I think, most of us, realize that there are ways to get to rational gun control," he said. "It is time for this kind of senseless violence to end."

Warner also spoke about the need for better mental health care, referencing the shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. earlier this year, in which a gunman killed 12 people, and the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, in which a gunman with history of mental health problems killed 32 people before taking his own life.

"Some of these young people we've that seen, situation in Colorado, situation in Virginia Tech, these are clearly troubled individuals," Warner said. "For their sake, for the safety of the community, we've got to make sure that we have better mental health intervention."

"There won't be a perfect law that's going to stop a crazy person from doing evil things," he said. "But when we have close to 30,000 killings a year from all types of gun violence, even if we save a few lives, we've made progress and I can answer my daughters with a better answer than I gave them on Friday night."

In the wake of the mass shooting at the school in Newtown that took 26 lives, the political debate over gun control has reignited in the Senate.

On Sunday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) indicated she would introduce an assault weapons ban bill on the first day of the new Congress.

On Monday, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) said he will introduce legislation to ban the sale of high-capacity magazines.

And Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) signalled Monday that gun control would be part of the debate in the coming days and weeks. "We have no greater responsibility than keeping our most vulnerable and most precious resource -- our children -- safe. And every idea should be on the table as we discuss how best to do just that," he said.

Whether there will be broad political and public support for stricter gun laws is yet to be determined, but there are some positive signs.

A poll taken after the shooting suggests a bump in support for tougher gun laws. And over on the White House's "We the People" platform, a pro-gun control petition is now the most popular petition on the site ever, with over 150,000 signatures.

Watch the video of Warner below:

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