(Photo: REUTERS/Richard Carson)
In response to President Barack Obama's unveiling of new gun legislation, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has recommended prayer instead of a change in gun laws to combat violence in the U.S.
"There is evil prowling in the world – it shows up in our movies, video games and online fascinations, and finds its way into vulnerable hearts and minds," Perry said in a statement issued shortly after President Obama concluded his Wednesday press conference regarding gun legislation, according to the Houston Chronicle.
"As a free people, let us choose what kind of people we will be. Laws, the only redoubt of secularism, will not suffice. Let us all return to our places of worship and pray for help. Above all, let us pray for our children," the governor and former GOP presidential candidate added.
Perry went on to criticize the "political left and their cohorts in the media" for using the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, in which 20 children and six adults were killed, as a tool for pushing their pre-existing political agenda regarding gun control.
On Wednesday, President Obama introduced a series of Congressional measures supplemented by 23 executive actions which addressed the issues of gun control within law enforcement, the availability of dangerous firearms and ammunition, school safety and mental health, according to The Huffington Post.
Obama proposed background checks on all gun sales as well the reinstatement of the assault weapons ban which expired in 2004, as part of the package aimed at reducing gun violence in the country.
The president's proposed package comes after a one-month review process of current gun legislation spearheaded by Vice President Joe Biden.
Republican lawmakers have rejected Obama's new proposals, arguing that they are unconstitutional in that they do not abide by the Second Amendment right to bear arms.
"Nothing the president is proposing would have stopped the massacre at Sandy Hook," Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, said in a statement, as reported by CNN.
"President Obama is targeting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens instead of seriously addressing the real underlying causes of such violence," added Rubio, who is considered by many to be an up-and-coming GOP leader.
Others have commended the president's proposals, arguing that addressing gun control is the most logical and effective way to end gun violence.
Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-New York, whose husband was killed in the 1993 shooting on a Long Island commuter train, told CNN that she believes the U.S. population has become more in favor of gun control since the Sandy Hook school shootings, and the tragedy has "gone to the heart of every mother, father, grandparent thinking about their children, grandchildren"
"We have to do something," McCarthy added.
President Obama's recent gun control package has been labeled by some media outlets as possibly the most sweeping legislation of this generation, and critics contend that his call for restrictions on certain semi-automatic rifles and high-capacity magazines will receive strong objections in both the House of Representatives and Senate.