New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, responding to the fatal shootings of a Virginia television reporter and cameraman, said the U.S. should enforce existing gun laws rather than pass new ones.
The Wednesday killings by a disgruntled former station employee during a live broadcast show the need for more mental-health screenings, Christie, fighting for the Republican presidential nomination, said Thursday during a round of morning television news programs.
“The deaths are an awful tragedy, but let’s focus on what the real problem is: We’re not enforcing the laws in this country,” Christie, 52, said on the “Fox & Friends” program. “We’ve got plenty of laws on the books that deal with gun violence; we just don’t enforce them.”
Christie attacked President Barack Obama’s comment to WPVI, the ABC television station in Philadelphia, that the number of people who die from domestic gun crimes “dwarfs” deaths from international terrorist groups.
“I don’t know that anybody in America believes that they are more threatened by this than they feel threatened by ISIS or other terror groups around the world,” the governor said.
A Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday found the New Jersey governor trailing eight other candidates in the 17-member field seeking the party’s nomination. Christie, with 4 percent of the vote, said he plans to close the gap by working to meet voters in early-decision states such as New Hampshire.
Christie packed his morning with a live focus group on Fox and interviews on “CBS This Morning” and CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” He was scheduled to be in Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Hampshire for campaign events later Thursday and Friday.