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Gov. Malloy, Sen. Murphy Make Calls to Action After San Bernardino Shootings

"We must step up and act to protect our neighbors, our families, and communities across the nation."<br><em>Gov. Dannel Malloy</em>

Connecticut's Governor Dannel Malloy and U.S. Senator Chris Murphy reacted to the news of a deadly mass shooting in San Bernardino, California with a mix of grief and concern for public safety.

Police said 14 people were killed and 17 wounded in the shooting at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, a social services facility serving people with developmental disabilities. Two suspects were killed.

In a statement Wednesday, Malloy made a call to action:

This is yet another heartbreaking situation, and yet another day during which families are holding their breath hoping – and praying – that their loved ones are coming home. And it’s our most vulnerable communities who are suffering today. Unnecessary gun violence is plaguing America, and we must step up and act to protect our neighbors, our families, and communities across the nation.

Murphy released a statement on Wednesday and also made a call to action to Congress.

Murphy has been a staunch advocate for gun control since the Newton shootings.

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Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR
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WNPR
Connecticut U.S. Senator Chris Murphy.
"Congress doesn’t attempt to have any debate about how to fix this in the wake of these tragedies."<br><em>Sen. Chris Murphy</em>

From Murphy's statement:

As we await the facts from the chaos on the ground, I can only pray that America's leaders will do something – anything – that prevents more communities from knowing this sorrow. Congress' number one responsibility is to keep our constituents safe, and not a single senator or member of Congress can go back to their state this weekend and claim that they are doing their job.

Speaking on MSNBC on Thursday, Murphy commented further about his frustration that Congress appears unwilling to address the issue of gun violence.

"What’s so offensive to me is that we do nothing," Murphy said. "Congress doesn’t attempt to have any debate about how to fix this in the wake of these tragedies. I just don’t think that people are going to get re-elected to Congress if they are totally, utterly silent after each one of these tragedies. Ninety percent of the American public support background checks to make sure that criminals don’t get guns. That’s not the left wing of America. That is the vast majority of America."

Murphy said gun violence will take a "comprehensive and complicated set of solutions," and urged the Republican majority in the Senate to come up with at least one solution before the new year.

Watch the segment below:

"We need to do something," Murphy said. "The fact is that most of my Republican colleagues, last night and today, are offering their sympathies, and their thoughts, and their prayers – and I know the people of San Bernardino appreciate that – but they’re not offering much else. We’ve got two weeks left in this legislative session. We have time to take at least one step forward either on mental health, on guns, to try to make a difference, or at least to show people that we’re trying to make a difference."

Malloy said he called California Governor Jerry Brown on Wednesday to express his condolences and offer assistance after learning of the shooting. He and Brown commiserated "about these kinds of situations taking place in our country and during our respective terms," referring to lessons Connecticut learned after the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown, when 20 children and six adults were killed.

Malloy said state police patrols would be stepped up at Department of Developmental Disabilities facilities as a precaution.

President Barack Obama also reacted earlier on Wednesday during a previously-scheduled interview with CBS. 

"The one thing we do know is that we have a pattern now of mass shootings in this country that has no parallel anywhere else in the world," Obama said. "There’s some steps we could take not to eliminate every one of these mass shootings, but to improve the odds that they don’t happen as frequently."

Motives of the shooters involved in the San Bernardino attack, and identities of the victims, remained unclear as of Thursday morning.

Diane Orson, Ray Hardman, Tucker Ives, and Leyda Quast contributed to this report, which includes information from The Associated Press.

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