Elected Officials React to Mass Shooting

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“We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years,” an emotional President Obama said in his address to the nation. (WhiteHouse.gov)

President Obama and other public officials have expressed shock and sadness over a mass shooting in Connecticut on Friday morning that left 28 people dead.

Adam Lanza, 20, killed his mother at her home, drove to Sandy Hook Elementary School, and fatally shot 20 children and six adults before taking his own life.

Among those issuing statements were the following Asian Pacific American lawmakers:

Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose): “Earlier today, another horrific gun tragedy struck our nation as innocent men, women, and children were senselessly shot at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. My prayers are with the victims, their families and friends, and the communities impacted by today’s terrifying events.

“As an educator for 30 years, I know first-hand the importance of making a school a safe place where children can grow and learn. Having that sense of safety ripped from us, again, is both shocking and jarring. It is difficult to imagine what it feels like to be a parent that has outlived their child or to be part of a family inexplicably left with a gaping hole in their hearts.

“While exact details still remain unclear, there is no doubt that today is a somber day. A close-knit community, like countless communities all around our country, was violently attacked, and we will continue to feel the shocks of this violence for some time. This event, much like the numerous other shootings earlier this year, will undoubtedly lead to difficult discussions about safety, public policy and emergency preparedness.

“This self-reflection is natural, and it is my hope that we can finally take action to address the root causes of these horrific tragedies together, as a nation. I have written previously about the need for stronger gun laws in response to the disturbing trend of increased gun violence in our nation.”

Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento): “There are no words to describe the horror of this morning’s tragedy in Newtown, Conn. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and the families who have been affected by this senseless act of violence. Now is the time to come together as a country to support these families and the community of Newtown in their time of need and mourning.”

Rep. Judy Chu (D-El Monte): “My heart goes out to the victims and families of Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut. I am shocked and saddened by this senseless tragedy against school employees and children. We must all support the people of Newtown, Connecticut during this very difficult time.”

Rep. (and Senator-elect) Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii): “I join President Obama in heartfelt grief for the victims of today’s horrific event at Sandy Hook Elementary School and in asking the country to come together to take meaningful action to ensure this type of tragedy does not happen again. As the president stated, ‘We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years.’

“Our thoughts and prayers go to the people of Newtown, Conn. Let us now unite as a nation to support the families, students, teachers and staff affected by this senseless act.”

Congressmember-elect Mark Takano (D-Riverside): “It’s often difficult to find the right words during times of tragedy. As neighbors, friends and family members, we must strike the proper balance between allowing the victims families proper time to grieve, and addressing what we must do as a community to prevent tragedies like this from happening again. As a nation, we need to have an honest conversation about how we keep mentally ill individuals from gaining access to fire arms so that we could prevent horrors like the ones seen yesterday in Newtown. Let us continue to hold the victims and their families in our thoughts and prayers.”

Congressmember-elect Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii): “My prayers go out to the victims and their families of the terrible, senseless shooting in Connecticut. Our nation stands with you.”

Congressmember-elect Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.): “Praying for the victims and families of the shooting in Connecticut.”

State Board of Equalization member Betty Yee: “My thoughts are with the families affected by today’s tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary.”

State Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco): “My thoughts and prayers go out to the children and families of Newtown. In a year with so many appalling acts of gun violence, this is the most shocking of such tragedies. While we do not have all the details behind this senseless and unconscionable massacre, it is a sad and horrific reminder of what is possible when guns get into the wrong hands. We must limit access to weapons that can result in such catastrophe and mass murder …

“I am proud to have authored legislation to increase mental health services, improve child development, and limit access to assault weapons, but we can and should do more to prevent acts like yesterday’s tragedy, including more services and sensible gun control laws. It is not to early to talk about this; for many it is too late. We must take action.”

State Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance): “I’m done crying, but will keep praying for the 20 slaughtered children, and several adults, who were murdered. Now I’m ANGRY. If more legislators got angry, there will be change.”

Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco): “So sad for all the families in Newtown, Conn. tonight. My thoughts and prayers go to them tonight. My daughter is in kindergarten — we shouldn’t have to worry about her safety at school.”

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee (joint statement with San Francisco Unified School District Superintendent Richard Carranza): “San Francisco grieves with those affected by the needless and horrifying violence this morning in Connecticut. Our thoughts, prayers and deep sympathy go out to the families of the children and other victims of this unspeakable tragedy.

“There is little we can say with our words to provide comfort to those affected, but we can move forward with purpose to do everything we can to prevent such tragedies from ever happening again.

“In the wake of such a national tragedy, we redouble our efforts to work together to ensure that our students, families and school staff remain safe.”

Mountain View City Councilmember Margaret Abe-Koga: “I could not wait to pick up my girls from school today … Earlier in the school year, my little one told me how they did a ‘code red’ drill in school, and I thought that was great that they did that, but I also thought how sad that our children have to worry about such incidents happening at school. And sure enough, it happened at a school today. I hope this country finally takes real action in preventing these types of tragedies from happening and we do our part to support such actions.”

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