Virginia political leaders reacted Friday to the shootings at a Newtown, Conn., school that left at least 27 people dead, including 18 children.
“Words fail to express the profound sadness I feel for the families of those who were lost and those who will carry the scars of this tragedy. Our Commonwealth knows too well the pain of senseless gun violence. Like all Virginians, Anne and I offer our thoughts, prayers, and heartfelt condolences to the community of Newtown,” said former governor and Senator-Elect Tim Kaine.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and families of those caught in the horrible tragedy in Newtown. As parents of five children we can’t imagine the pain and heartache of losing a child, especially to a terrible act of violence like this one. We solemnly join our fellow Virginians and all Americans in mourning for the entire Newtown community,” said presumptive Democratic nominee for governor Terry McAuliffe.
â€œAs our country struggles to comprehend what occurred today in Newtown, CT, my deepest condolences go out to the families and friends of those killed in this mindless tragedy,” said Rep. Jim Moran, a Northern Virginia Democrat. “As a nation, we are again confronted with an act of terrifying mass gun violence. While the coming days should be reserved for grieving, as a legislative body, and as a people, we must consider what can be done to improve our laws to prevent the continuation of this horrific trend.â€
Gov. Bob McDonnell said: “My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those impacted by the events transpiring today, and to the teachers, emergency responders, and all others touched by this tragedy. Unfortunately, Virginia has our own painful memories of the tragic shootings at Virginia Tech in 2007. Those memories will never fade, and we continue to grieve for all those lost on that April day. We are all too aware of the impact that events like this can have on a community.”
The National Rifle Association, headquartered in Fairfax, carried on its home page a commentary headlined “More Guns, Less Crime in Virginia.”
A visibly upset President Obama delivered a statement on the shootings this afternoon.