] Shortly after an armed man opened fire in a Walmart and mall in El Paso, a shocked Beto O'Rourke entered the stage at a work forum in Las Vegas.
Democratic president, hopeful and former congressman living in Texas border town, told the audience that he had just called his wife to make sure she was alright. He said the shootout "nullifies any illusion that we have this progress" when it comes to fighting gun violence.
"We need to find a reason for optimism and hope, or we are facing a future where nearly 40,000 people live One year will be killed by gun violence and I can not accept that," said O & # 39; Rourke later told reporters.
Across the country, lawmakers switched to cable TV and Twitter to respond to the mass shootings, and Republicans spoke prayers and condemnations without mentioning guns and Democrats taking one step further to decipher another missed opportunity to tackle the nation's gun laws. It was comparable to what those lawmakers said less than a week ago, when a 19-year-old at a food festival in Gilroy, California, opened the fire with an assault rifle, killing three people and wounding twelve more.
On Saturday, President Trump and Vice President Pence expressed condolences and support in mass shootings that killed and injured dozens of people in Texas.
"Terrible shootings in El Paso, Texas," tweeted the president as reports of the carnage unfolded. "Reports are very bad, many were killed. Cooperation with state and local authorities as well as law enforcement. I have spoken with the governor to promise the full support of the federal government. God be with you all!
The Texas legislators tweeted condolences . Attorney General William P. Barr issued a statement demanding that the killer or killers "be held quickly accountable and as permitted by law."
"My heart is with all in El Paso, who are affected by this indescribable evil." Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) Tweeted on Saturday afternoon. "Heidi and I are praying for the victims and their families and we are grateful for the first responders, the local authorities and the police who work tirelessly to bring the perpetrator of this corrupt crime to justice and to bring the entire community to safety. There are millions of people in Texas and across the country who stand behind you. "
But Trump and Pence no longer called for action against gun violence. This was left to the Democrats who urged their GOP counterparts to tighten arms legislation.
"Enough is enough," House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) Said in a press release, repeating a phrase that echoed in social media throughout the afternoon. "The continued inaction of the Republican Senate deprives of our solemn duty to protect innocent men, women, and children, and to end this epidemic once and for all."
For Democrats, the shooting has the potential to sharpen the gun control profile.
Democratic Presidential candidates largely agree on the need for larger arms restrictions. Sens. Kamala D. Harris (CA) and Cory Booker (N.J.) have presented solid plans. Representative Eric Swalwell (California), who retired in July, had made gun control the centerpiece of his campaign.
"I think people around the world are looking at the United States and wondering, What is it? Come on? "Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) Said Saturday at the Forum of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). "It's not just today, it happened several times this week, it happened here in Las Vegas."
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) Told the crowd that she was thinking of El Paso – and promised the National "I'm someone who thinks we have to deal with the NRA." "Do you know where that bill is right now? It sits on [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell's doorstep in the Senate cemetery." [ McConnell (R-Ky.) Tweeted on Saturday: "The whole nation is appalled by the nonsensical violence in El Paso Elaine's and my prayers are addressed to the victims of this terrible violence, to their families and friends and to the brave first responders […]
Democratic presidential candidates are more concerned with arms control recollection than with any other recent campaign, with emotional appeals against gun violence and the promise to stand up to the NRA In more and more mass shootings, especially in schools, the reason for this problem has shifted from accepting a weapons culture in many areas of the country, including some that Democrats want to wrest from the president.
Nearly Every candidate in the field advocates universal background checks and brings back a ban on selling "offensive weapons," such as the one that expired in 2004.
South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg said he had prepared an opening statement for his AFSCME appearance, but at the beginning of his remarks he said, "I can not even think about it."
"We can accept the second amendment Respect and not allow thousands of Americans to be sentenced to death, "he added.