Stephen Williams reports in the Daily Gazette
that Rep. Paul Tonko, a Democrat representing Albany County and the rest of the 20th Congressional District, joined the debate on guns and mental health on Aug. 5, after 31 were killed in mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton this weekend. "If this perpetual tragedy drove a real national mobilization to get mental health services to the millions of Americans who need them, that at least would be something," Tonko wrote. "But I also know that Americans are 29 times more likely to die from a gun homicide than the people of any other developed nation. And it’s not because America has 29 times more mental illness. Science tells us it’s because we have vastly more guns." Tonko claims he's been working to lift the existing ban on federal funding for gun violence research. "Gun violence is a public health crisis and we need to treat it as such," he wrote, also asking Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to allow Senate votes on two bills that the House voted for earlier this year, for more, and more thorough, background checks on all gun sales. "Leader McConnell won’t even bring them up for debate," Tonko said. Read more about this story in the Daily Gazette.