Maryland's senior lawmaker, Sen.
Mikulski joined Baltimore Mayor
"It's a terrible event, but it should only be an event. Violence should not a pattern for the United States of America," Mikulski said. "The protection of our children should be foremost in our mind.
"We do need the
Mikulski said her approach will be two-fold. She intends to collaborate with mental health professionals to work toward eliminating violence while aiming to put new controls over access to military-style weapons.
The senator said she will work with Sen.
The NRA and its lobbying arm, the Institute for Legislative Action, did not immediately respond to request for comment.
Rawlings-Blake said the first priority locally is to build consensus for new laws, especially those that would address access to assault weapons. The mayor said her efforts to push for gun controls in
"I've tried. I've advocated for stronger gun laws in Annapolis for years — and had extreme difficulty getting some members of the legislature to understand why it was so important to have strong gun laws," she said. "… The priority is getting the interests on both sides to be willing to have a conversation to create a safer city, a safer state and a safer country."
Rawlings-Blake said she was inspired by the president's address Sunday from Newtown, Conn. She said she hopes the shooting spurs the country to address the "realities" of violence in America. Addressing gun violence and the needs of the mentally ill is a must, the mayor said.
"All I know is, I feel the same way as the president [does]," she said. "We cannot look ourselves in the mirror and think we've done all we can do."
The mayor has petitioned lawmakers to increase penalties for illegal loaded handgun possession and felony gun offenders, among other measures. In 2011 she found success when Gov.
Archbishop Lori spoke about the tragedy from a more personal perspective. He served as bishop of
"With the entire nation, we are mourning, but for me it has struck in a very deep and very personal way," Lori said. "… The whole community is traumatized but the parents who lost children are undergoing a grief like no other grief.
"This episode should not only draw us closer together in the spirit of prayer and concern but also make us determined to overcome a culture of violence. All of us together have this important responsibility to create what we might call a civilization of faith and of love."