By Jonathan Swan - 11/29/15 10:15 AM EST
Friday's shooting spree at a Colorado Springs, Colo. Planned Parenthood clinic was not an act of terrorism in the opinion of the House Homeland Security Committee’s chairman.
"It's a tragedy... It's, I think, a mental health crisis," said Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) on ABC News’s "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."
"I don't think it would fall under quite the definition of domestic terrorism, although I'll leave that to the Justice Department to make that determination," he added.
The Planned Parenthood shootings, allegedly committed by Robert Lewis Dear, left three people dead, including a police officer, and nine others wounded. The latest reports are that the shooter expressed anti-abortion and anti-government views.
McCaul and the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep, Adam SchiffAdam SchiffWeek ahead: Election hacks, Yahoo breach in the spotlight Overnight Tech: Pressure builds ahead of TV box vote | Intel Dems warn about Russian election hacks | Spending bill doesn't include internet measure Intel Dems: Russia making 'serious effort' to influence US election MORE (R-Calif.), both agreed in their interview on "This Week" that more needs to be done to ensure that mentally ill people cannot get access to firearms.
"Well, I think this is a big issue that there's too ready access of people who are seriously mentally ill to firearms," Schiff said. "But nothing we have done has worked because essentially we have done nothing. The -- the background checks are not universal, so even if people who are mentally ill would be barred if they buy it off the back of a truck or they buy it at a gun show, it's not going to stop them from getting a weapon. If they can still have access to very powerful weapons with extended ammunition clips, they're still going to be able to kill a lot of people.
"We have to do something other than this routine now pantomime of condolence every time we have a mass shooting," Schiff added. "That is simply not enough. And it's just unendurable."