An horrendous shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. today that killed 20 children and eight adults has prompted an immediate outcry for gun control laws from leading liberals, especially on assault weapons such as the one used in Friday's tragic shooting.
The shooting is one of the worst in U.S. history and immediately sparked memories of the Columbine High School massacre in 1999, and the Virginia Tech rampage in 2007.
There is little doubt supporters of gun control will square off against those who support the right to keep and bear arms in the coming days, however, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters that today was not the time to discuss gun laws.
"I think that day will come, but today's not that day, especially as we are awaiting more information about the situation," he said.
The Very Rev. Gary Hall, Dean of Washington National Cathedral - which considers its mission to be a spiritual home for the nation - has released a statement in response to the Sandy Hook tragedy today.
"The horrific shooting of children and adults in Newtown, Connecticut, is a tragedy that elicits both our grief and our moral outrage on behalf of the victims and their families," said Dean Hall in his statement. "In a political climate unwilling to address the realities of gun violence in America, a wide range of faith traditions, including the Episcopal Church, has strongly advocated gun control for several decades. And we pledge to work with our national leaders to enact more effective gun control measures."
Most lawmakers had left Washington on Thursday and were back in their districts, but some liberal members of Congress wasted no time in calling for stronger gun control laws.
"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," said Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York in a statement of his own. "Yet another unstable person has gotten access to firearms and committed an unspeakable crime against innocent children. We cannot simply accept this as a routine product of modern American life."
Other Democrats took to Twitter to voice their thoughts on gun control.
"Dear Colleagues: it's time 2 act to control access 2 handguns," wrote Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) on Twitter. "This not about ducks & deer. I pray for the victims. I pray for our courage."
"We must act to stop this epidemic of gun violence," said Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn).
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an outspoken advocate of gun control, appealed to President Barack Obama to use both of this week's tragic shootings to engage public support for more stringent gun laws.
"Dear Colleagues: it's time 2 act to control access 2 handguns," wrote Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD) on Twitter. "This not about ducks & deer. I pray for the victims. I pray for our courage."
"We must act to stop this epidemic of gun violence," said Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN).
So far, gun rights groups such as the National Rifle Association, have not released any statements on the shootings.