DFL Sen. Al Franken declined to say today whether he would support tougher gun laws after the school shooting in Connecticut.
Authorities in Newtown, Connecticut said 20 children were killed today along with at least 7 adults, including the gunman. It's the nation's second-deadliest school shooting after the shootings at Virginia Tech in 2007. Franken was asked about tougher gun control laws during an afternoon news conference.
"I'm not sure this is the day to start looking at policy regarding this," Franken said. "This is the day for us to have the victims and their families in our hearts, in our prayers and in our thoughts."
The shooting has groups on both sides of the gun control issue speaking out in Minnesota. The group Protect Minnesota plans a Friday evening rally at a park in south Minneapolis. It says its goals are to reduce gun violence by cutting down on illegal access to guns and promoting measures to stop gun injuries and death, especially among children.
Meanwhile, a group called the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance called on school superintendents and principals to immediately authorize qualified staff and faculty to carry guns at schools.
Several politicians issued statements calling for the nation to come together in light of the tragedy. They include DFL Rep. Keith Ellison, Gov. Dayton, GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann and GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen.
DFL Rep. Betty McCollum issued a statement urging President Obama and Congress to take action on gun control.
"The time has come for President Obama, Congress and the American people to come together to act immediately to end the epidemic of gun violence and the proliferation of guns designed to be weapons of mass murder," McCollum said in a statement.
Update: Ellison is scheduled to appear on MSNBC at 7:20pm to discuss the shooting and "how Congress can address gun violence."
Senator Franken should grow a backbone and start standing up to the NRA. This is exactly the time to talk about gun control, because 20 little children died today because Sen. Franken and the rest of our politicians can't do the right thing. If now isn't the time to talk about when is. It would be a shame for all those little children to have died in vain, and to keep watching as the same tragedy plays out again and again while spineless politicians insist it's not the right time to talk about it.
Sure... No tradegy goes unwasted for a political purpose? Please stop using children to advance your cause. Spineless is that there was no citizens with heat to protect these children. No amount of government or laws could possibly be created in order to protect against crazy people.