Politicians' Statements Regarding Connecticut School Slayings
Several politicians released statements to express their condolences to the victims of the mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut.
President Barack Obama
This afternoon, I spoke with Governor Malloy and FBI Director Mueller. I offered Governor Malloy my condolences on behalf of the nation, and made it clear he will have every single resource that he needs to investigate this heinous crime, care for the victims, counsel their families.
We've endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years. And each time I learn the news I react not as a President, but as anybody else would -- as a parent. And that was especially true today. I know there's not a parent in America who doesn't feel the same overwhelming grief that I do.
The majority of those who died today were children -- beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. They had their entire lives ahead of them -- birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own. Among the fallen were also teachers -- men and women who devoted their lives to helping our children fulfill their dreams.
So our hearts are broken today -- for the parents and grandparents, sisters and brothers of these little children, and for the families of the adults who were lost. Our hearts are broken for the parents of the survivors as well, for as blessed as they are to have their children home tonight, they know that their children's innocence has been torn away from them too early, and there are no words that will ease their pain.
As a country, we have been through this too many times. Whether it's an elementary school in Newtown, or a shopping mall in Oregon, or a temple in Wisconsin, or a movie theater in Aurora, or a street corner in Chicago -- these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods, and these children are our children. And we're going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.
This evening, Michelle and I will do what I know every parent in America will do, which is hug our children a little tighter and we'll tell them that we love them, and we'll remind each other how deeply we love one another. But there are families in Connecticut who cannot do that tonight. And they need all of us right now. In the hard days to come, that community needs us to be at our best as Americans. And I will do everything in my power as President to help.
Because while nothing can fill the space of a lost child or loved one, all of us can extend a hand to those in need -- to remind them that we are there for them, that we are praying for them, that the love they felt for those they lost endures not just in their memories but also in ours.
May God bless the memory of the victims and, in the words of Scripture, heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds.
Senator Lamar Alexander / (R) TN
"I am stunned by this tragedy and my prayers are for the families who have suffered this loss."
Senator Bob Corker / (R) TN
"Like any parent, I am heartbroken to hear what has happened, and like other Tennesseans, I am saddened for all the victims and families and have them in my thoughts and prayers."
U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper / (D) TN 5th District
"I'm appalled that a season of joy has turned into one of horror for the community of Newtown. Children and teachers should be safe when they're in school. I hope we all will hold our kids closer tonight and think about what we, as adults, can do to stop tragedies like this."
U.S. Rep. Diana Black / (R) TN 6th District
My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims, children and families who have been affected by today's tragic events in Connecticut. As a mother and grandmother, my heart breaks for them. May God be with the Sandy Hook Elementary community.
U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn / (R) TN 7th District
"It just makes your heart break. There's nothing else you can say other than it is just devastating. It makes you think about your own children and grandchildren. The safety, and wanting to make certain that these places that should be safe places are indeed safe places. It is heartbreaking."
"It is not the time for a policy debate. This is the time for consoling and for coming around these families and making certain that the needs of the children and families and the first responders are all met," Blackburn said.
"These are the times that I just think how fortunate we are when we have good classroom teachers who are trained in how to handle grief and how to handle the emotions that children bring into the classroom with them every day," Blackburn went on to say.
U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen / (D) TN 9th District
(Also references Friday's shooting death of a Memphis police officer.)
"My heart goes out to those who lost loved ones in the senseless gun tragedies today—in both Memphis and Newtown, Connecticut. I support President Obama's call for meaningful action to try to prevent such events from taking place in the future. I know that everyone will come together to help these communities in their time of need."
State Rep. Sherry Jones / (D) Nashville
"If we know that these people have mental health issues first of all we need to be sure they can't get a weapon and secondly they need to have help. Nobody thinks that they're ever going to drop their child off at school and they're going to wind up dead from somebody coming in and shooting them and it's ridiculous that these things are happening. I don't care if people want to hunt. I'm fine with that. I don't care if you have a gun to protect yourself at home. I'm fine with that. But we shouldn't take a chance on people that have these sort of mental health issues being able to get a hold of weapons. We need to do a better job with that."