CHICAGO (CBS) — Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said the televised shootings of reporter Alison Parker and photojournalist Adam Ward heightened the need to find better ways to prevent the mentally ill from buying guns.
Alvarez said every state has different laws regarding background checks for firearm purchases.
After the killings of WDBJ reporter Alison Parker and photographer Adam Ward in Virginia this week, she said there should be a push for universal background checks in the U.S.
“What we have to look at is when we do allow people to carry a weapon, there have to be safeguards. There have to be checks, background checks, mental health checks. You know, certain people should never be able to carry a gun,” she said.
The killer, Vester Flanagan, was fired from WDBJ two years ago, and Alvarez noted officials there tried to deal with his emotional problems before firing him.
“It sounds like they were doing the right thing at that station, and they did release him; but I think – again – when someone applies for a gun, we have to make sure that the safeguards are in place so that someone who has this potential, this violence in his background … something like this isn’t going to happen again,” she said.