A day after he met with President Barack Obama, Police Chief John Edwards appeared on MSNBC to talk about the meeting and the debate over gun violence.
Edwards told the network the president asked him and other police chiefs, including those from Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn., to be candid about what they thought.
The issue, Edwards said, isn't about "gun control," which tends to divide people. It's about stopping violence in general.
"The gun issue is so polarizing, a lot of people stop dead in their tracks when they hear that, and they hear nothing else," Edwards said. "And we don't get to the meat and potatoes of how to actually stop the violence."
Edwards doesn't think banning any particular type of weapon will stop gun violence—the problems start much earlier than when a person picks up a firearm, he said.
He also said some of Obama's executive orders (which can be found here) will help law enforcement. And several of them, like better access to mental health access, don't have anything to do with guns, Edwards said.
"We have to stop calling it 'gun control.' We're trying to control violence, and that has many different facets to it," he said. "There's mental health issues, there's databases we need access to, there's record checks that need to be done, there's reporting stolen weapons, doctors being involved in sharing information between schools, police, mental health professionals."
Oak Creek and other cities in which mass shootings took place last year have been in the center of the nationwide debate over how to address gun violence.
Mayor Steve Scaffidi met with Obama and Vice President Joe Biden Jan. 16.