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Is it a health issue or a gun issue? Miss. leaders debate sc

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Is it a health issue or a gun issue? Miss. leaders debate school shootings
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An evidence search team at Stoneman Douglas School
AP Photo

In the wake of a Florida high school shooting, congressional leaders in Mississippi are joining the conversation about gun policies in America. MPB's Ashley Norwood reports.

The shooting deaths of seventeen people at a high school in Parkland, Florida is prompting Mississippi lawmakers to discuss what needs to happen to put an end to such events. President Donald Trump has focused on mental health as a hint to potential violent behavior in his remarks about the recent shooting. Republican U.S. Senator Roger Wicker agrees.

"Here was a young man in Florida that posted something that came to the attention of one of our fellow Mississippi citizens. We can look at the profile of someone who is a potential perpetrator and give that person the mental health treatment that they need, intervene in some way or at least take them out of circulation as long as they're a danger," said Wicker.

Mississippi Congressman Bennie Thompson says he supports gun control laws. The third district Democrat said in a statement released after the shooting, "I am ready to take action to prevent such senseless gun violence. The question is: When will the Republicans who control the House join me?"

Wicker does not support stricter gun laws.

"I don't think taking away the rights of innocent law abiding citizens who have a semi-automatic weapon would help. It hasn't been demonstrated to me that a higher level of gun control would help at all. It might make some advocates feel that we've done something right but I don't think it would be the solution," said Wicker.

The shooting in Florida is the eighteenth shooting on school grounds this year. Ashley Norwood, MPB News.