Sen. Mike Johanns says two issues are guaranteed to stir passions when he speaks with Nebraskans during breaks from Washington.
Nebraskans hold strong opinions on gun control and immigration.
“Gun control and immigration really stir the passions. There’s just no doubt about it, people feel very, very strongly about both issues,” Johanns tells Nebraska Radio Network.
Johanns, a Republican, hears from Nebraskans who advocate gun control, though they might be in the minority here.
“The reality is we’re not prosecuting anybody who violates those laws,” Johanns says. “We prosecute virtually no one for violating gun laws.”
Johanns says the Senate has turned down efforts to tighten the nation’s gun control laws and will likely vote again on the issue. He insists gun control isn’t the answer; that stricter gun regulations would not have stopped 20-year-old Adam Lanza from walking into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut and opening fire, killing 20 First Graders and six teachers. Lanza killed his mother and took her guns before arriving at the school.
Johanns advocates increased funding of mental health detection and treatment.
As for immigration, Johanns sees a lot of work ahead.
The so-called gang of eight, four Republicans and four Democrats, have crafted a complicated bill that has won the endorsement of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Among its provisions is a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the country. It likely will come before the full Senate for debate sometime in early June.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:40]