In Light Of Connecticut School Shooting Tragedy, Lawmakers Call For Gun Control Action

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)

In his remarks to the nation about the Connecticut school shooting tragedy, President Obama said Friday, “we’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.” While he did not get specific, some lawmakers were more blunt, arguing that meaningful gun control legislation is needed to reduce the unfathomable number of such mass shootings the nation has endured since Columbine. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), whose husband was killed and son was injured in a the 1993 Long Island Rail Road shootings said she has given the White House notice that “the gloves are off” and will do everything possible to push for gun control — even if it means embarrassing the president.

Among the others speaking out:

1. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY): “If now is not the time to have a serious discussion about gun control and the epidemic of gun violence plaguing our society, I don’t know when is. How many more Columbines and Newtowns must we live through? I am challenging President Obama, the Congress, and the American public to act on our outrage and, finally, do something about this.”

2. Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY): “We cannot tolerate mass shootings as a mere inconvenience or a normal part of our everyday lives. Easy availability of the deadliest weapons to the most dangerous people has cost countless lives and caused immeasurable suffering, never more so than today. Our expressions of sympathy must be matched with concrete actions to stop gun violence.”

3. Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA): “As a nation, we are again confronted with an act of terrifying mass gun violence. While the coming days should be reserved for grieving, as a legislative body, and as a people, we must consider what can be done to improve our laws to prevent the continuation of this horrific trend.”

4. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA): “Tragedy in CT school. Unspeakable carnage. Every parent’s nightmare. Pray for the families. Congress must act now.”

5. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ): “Americans are sick and tired of these attacks on our children and neighbors and they are sick and tired of nothing being done in Washington to stop the bloodshed. If we do not take action to address gun violence, shooting tragedies like this will continue. As President Obama said, we must act now ‘regardless of the politics.’”

6. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA): “This touches us all so deeply, and it is long past time that we enacted sensible gun laws and school safety legislation.”

Mark Kelly, husband of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) — herself a shooting survivor — and Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) joined in these calls aggressive action on gun control legislation.

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino (D) and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I), co-chairs of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, also demanded immediate action. Among their proposals are requiring background checks for all gun purchases and increased enforcement of existing gun laws. Others have also proposed re-regulating military-style assault rifles.

And, conservative columnist David Frum noted, “A permissive gun regime is not the only reason that the United States suffers so many atrocities like the one in Connecticut. An inadequate mental health system is surely at least as important a part of the answer.”