Pundits, Politicians Spar Over Tucson Shooting

Some blame loopholes, others mental health treatment
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 16, 2011 1:54 PM CST

(Newser) – Jared Lee Loughner got rejected from the Army for "excessive" drug use, yet was allowed to buy a gun because of a loophole that Sen. Chuck Schumer wants to close, reports the Hill. The New York Democrat is writing the White House to ask that the Pentagon be forced to tell the FBI of "excessive drug use" rejections. Other guests on the Sunday talk show dial focused on treating mental illness. The rundown, as per Politico:

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  • Rudy Giuliani thinks Loughner was "crying out" for help. "He was being told to be treated. People were saying he was frightening. Gosh, you would think, at some point along the way he would have been evaluated."
  • Janet Napolitano cited breakdowns in treating mental illness, saying, "There has not been enough cohesiveness to treat it as the disease that it is. Every time there's a tragedy, there's a lot of hoopla for a month, two months … and then we're on to the next thing."
  • Tom Coburn has had it up to here—with the media, "right and left," for questioning whether political rhetoric had anything to do with the shootings. "We're spending all our time talking about political discourse rather than talking about the real risk to our country. We need to quit paying attention to all the media says."
  • Added the usually vociferous Schumer: "We as elected officials have an obligation to try and tone that down. And if we tone it down, then maybe the media will be less vociferous."
(Read more Gabrielle Giffords shooting stories.)

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