“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.”
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.