“When I was in Congress, one of my passions was mental health, and I think that is an area where television and movies can do a great deal to inform,” he said. The ads, he said, will help people identify signs of mental illness.
“The thread that runs through all gun tragedies is mental health,” Smith added. “These are afflictions that can be highly lethal.”
The former senator wouldn’t take a position on gun control proposals, though the National Rifle Association’s executives have put the blame for mass shootings, in part, on violent media content.
“They may be throwing us under the bus, but I’m not throwing them under the bus,” Smith said. “A lot of broadcasters like me believe in the Second Amendment.”
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.