A school shooting in Florida on Wednesday left more than a dozen people dead, and as families reeled and developments came in, lawmakers reacted to the tragedy.
Democratic Rep. Jim Himes, whose home state of Connecticut endured the deadly Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012, remarked on CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer” that lawmakers’ responses to these types of high-profile shooting incidents have become routine, and decried the standstill in the gun debate.
“There’s sort of just a sense of resignation here right now,” Himes said from Capitol Hill. “The pattern will be perfectly predictable. There will be a moment of silence. People will wish everybody thoughts and prayers and sympathy for the victims, and then the Congress of the United States will do absolutely nothing.”
Asked what would happen in Congress following the Florida shooting, Himes said, “The honest answer to that question is not a damn thing. This institution is not going to move.”
Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, an Arizona Democrat who was shot in the head during a deadly shooting in 2011, said in a statement that people “must find the courage to imagine a country where these massacres do not occur.”
“Every day we fail to take action, we choose this fate,” Giffords said. “We tolerate politicians who fail to acknowledge this crisis and vote against our safety.”
President Donald Trump offered his condolences for the latest school shooting in the US and said he had spoken with Florida GOP Gov. Rick Scott.
“My prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the terrible Florida shooting. No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school,” Trump said.
As the moments passed after news of the Florida shooting broke, members of both parties joined Trump in offering their thoughts again to victims of gun violence, and some Democrats renewed their calls for legislation they claim might affect the frequency and deadliness of the incidents.
Florida’s Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson said in an interview on CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper” that it was a “bad day.”
“We ought to say enough is enough,” Nelson said.
Florida’s GOP Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted, “Just spoke to Broward School Superintendent. Today is that terrible day you pray never comes.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, tweeted her thoughts for the victims and said Congress has a “moral responsibility to take common sense action to prevent the daily tragedy of gun violence in communities across America.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, tweeted that his “heart aches for these children & their families. #StopGunViolence.”
Many members of Florida’s congressional delegation offered their condolences on Twitter, along with thanks for law enforcement.
Some Democrats from Florida also called for congressional action in response to deadly mass shootings in the US.
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to correctly identify Rep. Jim Himes.
CNN’s Tal Kopan contributed to this report.