Senator-elect Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) made her priorities abundantly clear on Thursday morning when a Fox News anchor asked her for a reaction to the deadly mass shooting at bar in Thousand Oaks, California.
Asked by anchor Sandra Smith what America as a country can do to stop incidents like this one, the first thing Blackburn said was: “What we do is say, how do we make certain that we protect the Second Amendment and protect our citizens.”
The Tennessee Republican went on to say that “mental-health issues need to be addressed” before bringing up the issue of gun access specifically.
The gunman, a former Marine, killed 11 people plus a sheriff's deputy at the 18-and-older country music bar night before reportedly turning his gun on himself.
“No one wants an individual who is a danger to themselves or others to have a firearm,” Blackburn added. “And what you do want is to make sure they are receiving the help—I mean, this is just absolutely heartbreaking.” From there, Blackburn offered her “thoughts and prayers” to the parents and victims.
As Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, pointed out on Twitter, Blackburn received more than $1 million in donations from the NRA leading up to her decisive victory over Democrat Phil Bredesen.
The NRA officially endorsed Blackburn in September, calling her a “champion of our Second Amendment freedoms” who “has always stood strong to protect the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans.”