Rep. Greg Walden (R., Ore.) struck a measured tone on potential gun control legislation Tuesday morning on CNN. While acknowledging that Congress needs to look at reforming mental health laws with respect to guns, Walden expressed reservation about embracing other reforms such as universal background checks until he sees the all of the details and implications:
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: I think it’s terrific that your focus on the mental health problem and I think many people would agree with you. However of that list that I read I think there are people who say yes, enforcing some of those things, doing some of those things could make a big difference. Is there anything on that list where you would say this could be a starting point where a very divided Congress could come together and actually get something done?
GREG WALDEN: Well, Soledad obviously we’ll take a look at that list. I want to see, like you’ve said at the beginning of the topic this morning, what is the president actually going to put forward, how has it come forward, figuring out what the details are, but certainly we don’t want firearms in the hands of people who are criminally insane, who have felony records that might use firearm inappropriately and cause mass casualties – so let’s look at it.
O’BRIEN: So would you support universal background checks that are even when the sellers are individual citizens?
WALDEN: I want to see what’s being proposed so I’m going to withhold judgment on these various points because I don’t know what all that means, per se. It’s one thing to say it in a broad term and another to understand fully what’s at risk there. Does that mean my brother and I can’t exchange guns without a full background check, firearms my father had, do we have to go through a whole system? I want to know what’s at stake here, and we’ll have time to take and evaluate all of that.