Former Vice President Mike Pence called for federal legislation to be drawn up to punish the perpetrators of mass shootings by the death penalty, in a recent interview with CNN.
CNN host Wolf Blitzer began asking the former vice president about his stance on further gun control in response to the recent Nashville shooting at the Covenant School.
"This is not the time to go back to the same, tired saw over gun control. Some of the worst crime-ridden cities in America have the strongest gun-control measures in place," Pence responded.
"What we need is new, bold action in a broad range of areas," he continued.
"Number one, while they took down the assailant in this case, I think we need to get to the bottom of the motive, because it's very possible that this was a hate crime. ... We need to identify whether or not we have a widening enmity toward Christian and traditional conservative views that's been driving people to violence," Pence said.
"Secondly, I believe we've got to get more serious about penalties and expedited penalties for those who engage in mass killings in this country. I think the time has come for federal legislation that would bring the death penalty to anyone that engages in a mass shooting that claims lives."
Pence has shown support for the death penalty in other instances for many years. In 2014, on a CNN governor's panel, Pence explained his perspective on the potential removal of the death penalty in his home state of Indiana, saying, "I don’t see that prospect in the state of Indiana. I support the death penalty. I believe justice demands it in our most heinous cases."
His arguments appear to be made in support of states' rights, as he further stated that “part of the American experiment” is that states can uphold their own policies and be "laboratories of innovation" independent of the federal government.
He made a similar argument regarding school safety, saying, "Policies regarding the security and privacy of students in our schools should be in the hands of [Indiana] parents and local schools, not bureaucrats in Washington, D.C."
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