Today Congressman John B. Larson (CT-01) released the following statement on the immediate need for a comprehensive approach to prevent future violence:
"Yesterday our hearts were broken as we witnessed one of the worst tragedies in the history of Connecticut. The children and teachers whose lives were taken are in our thoughts and prayers and their families deserve space and privacy. They, along with the staff, first responders, and the community of Newtown deserve our continued support and prayers through this most difficult time. As a parent, the unspeakable fear has happened. May God help all those families get through.
"President Obama is right. Friday was a day of mourning, but the time to act is now upon us. To do nothing in the face of continuous assaults on our children is to be complicit in those assaults. There may not be a single cure-all for the violence in our nation, however we must start the process and begin the deeper and longer conversations that need to take place. Politics be damned. Of the 12 deadliest shootings in our nation's history, half of them have happened in the last five years. And there is not a single person in America who doesn't fear it will happen again. It's time we recognize the danger and address it.
"It's time for Members of Congress to act! Congress should be prepared to vote on requiring background checks for all gun sales, closing the terrorist watch list loopholes, and banning assault weapons and high capacity clips. Those measures don't solve all our problems, but they're a start. We also need to focus on our mental health care system. We need to support a better process for families and friends to share their concerns and fears with authorities about people's mental status, and begin to invest in the human infrastructure needed for effective prevention programs that create healthy children. The pattern is clear- action must be taken. To do nothing in the face of pending disaster is to be complicit. It's time to act. It's time to vote."