Chris Christie Urges Focus on Mental Health After Oregon Mass Shooting

Gov.Chris Christie weighed in on the mass shooting in Oregon on "This Week."

ByABC News
October 4, 2015, 12:51 PM

— -- New Jersey Governor and 2016 presidential candidate Chris Christie weighed in on the recent mass shooting in Roseburg, Oregon, saying that America should get “tougher” on mental health issues.

“I'm very concerned about the mental health side of this,” Christie told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos Sunday on “This Week.” Christie advocates making involuntary commitment easier for doctors to enforce if they fear a mentally ill patient could become violent.

“We don't want to involuntarily commit them, to put them away,” he said. “We want to protect others and get them the help they need.”

Christie, a former prosecutor, also supports stricter enforcement of gun laws. “There’s lawlessness out there,” he said, pointing to Chicago, a city with tough gun laws and high violent crime rates. “We are not enforcing the law in as aggressive way as we should.”

As governor of New Jersey, which has some of the strictest gun laws and lowest murder rates in the country, Christie has vetoed a gun control bill that would have limited the size of munitions magazines.

“I think it’s about the mental health issue,” Christie said. “I don’t think we’re as aggressive as we should be.”

The governor turned his focus from the campaign trail to his home state in recent days, canceling campaign stops in the New Hampshire. He declared a state of emergency in New Jersey to help residents prepare for Hurricane Joaquin, which so far has spared the state from any major damage.

“We’re lucky we dodged a bullet in New Jersey this time,” Christie said.

On Russia’s influence in Syria, Christie took a swipe at Republican front-runner Donald Trump. “Donald should be concerned that he is agreeing with Barack Obama because just when you think it can't get worse it does, and just when you think this foreign policy can’t cost more to the American people, it does,” Christie said. “Anyone who agrees on allowing the Russians into the Middle East is just painfully naive.”

Christie, who believes there should be a no-fly zone in Syria, says America needs to re-establish its presence in the middle east. “We should be the one leading the fight on ISIS,” He added.

When asked about a recent Pew poll, which shows that Republican voters prefer a candidate who has “new ideas and a different approach” over a candidate with “experience and a proven track record,” Christie, who has touted his experience on the campaign trail said, “campaigns are about tomorrow, not about yesterday.”

According to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, Christie is in eighth place in the GOP field, garnering 3 percent of voters.