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Gun control debate rises again after naval yard shootings

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (FOX NEWS) - The beltway and beyond, taking another hard look at gun control and mental health issues in this country and the debate, beginning to turn not on weapons or ammunition, but on the question of whether to spend more money on treating and preventing mental illness.

Fox News National Correspondent Steve Centanni has the story.

A new debate on mental health could lead to policy changes in Washington, with the National Rifle Association and congress in agreement, this time.

Wayne Lapierre / EVP and CEO, National Rifle Association / "NBC Meet The Press" says: "There weren't enough good guys with guns, when the good guys with guns got there, it stopped. What really happened here is the mental health situation in the country is in complete breakdown."

On Capitol Hill, there's bi-partisan agreement, that clues into a potential gun-buyer's mental health should trigger alarms nationally:

Sen. Tom Coburn / (R-OK) / "CBS Face The Nation" says: "They can act on that by notifying the do not sell list, so that people can't buy a gun."

Back in April, the Toomey / Manchin amendment, which would have required background checks on all commercial sales of guns failed in the senate.

Sen. Joe Manchin / (D-WV) / "CBS Face The Nation" says: "There has to be people willing to move off of the position they've taken they have to come to that conclusion themselves."

Now, the movement, calling for gun reform is gaining steam again.

Sandy Phillips lost her daughter inside the century sixteen theater in Aurora, Colorado and says survivors, shattered by the violence, are pressing on.

Sandy Phillips / Mother Of Aurora Shooting Victim/ “NBC Meet The Press" says: "It took 6 votes over 7 years to get the initial Brady Law passed, and Sarah and Jim Brady didn't give up. And those of us who are involved, and unfortunately our numbers are growing, we're not giving up."

But the former acting director of the centers for disease control, says it's not just a legislative issue.

For people with mental health needs, it's about access to care:

Richard Besser, M.D. / Fmr. Acting Director, CDC / "ABC This Week" says: "one of the things about health reform is to make sure that mental health issues are treated the same way as physical problems."

After Monday’s shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, the white house said President Obama remains committed to strengthening gun laws and plans to use his executive authority to tighten access to guns.

In Washington, Steve Centanni, Fox News.