Obama’s summit underscores disadvantage on guns

Obama’s summit underscores disadvantage on guns

President Obama on Monday addressed the stigma surrounding mental illness, an issue that received little White House attention during the push for new firearms restrictions but is now getting a second look following the stinging defeat of the president’s gun control measures.

Obama convened a mental health summit Monday at the White House, months after the December massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. With immigration reform now pushing gun control further down the president’s list of priorities and Washington consumed by a trio of administration scandals, Obama is embracing an issue on which there’s a rare bipartisan consensus.

Mental health was raised during the gun control debate, when opponents of expanded background checks for gun buyers suggested it would be more meaningful to create a national database of those who suffer from mental illness and who are forbidden to buy firearms. Obama on Monday didn’t directly mention guns but alluded to the potential harm that undetected mental illness would cause.

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