Connecticut officials are calling for the federal government to take action to prevent gun violence after deadly mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio within 24 hours of each other this weekend.
El Paso authorities said 21 people were killed and several others others were injured when a man opened fire at a Walmart near a mall on Saturday morning.
The suspected shooter, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, has been booked on capital murder charges, according to police.
U.S. Representatives Rosa DeLauro and John Larson reacted to the news of the El Paso shooting with a call for action.
"The El Paso mass shooting is tragic. My heart goes out to the victims, their families, and the entire community. This is not normal. We must address the epidemic of gun violence in our country with action," Rep. DeLauro tweeted.
"Yet another tragedy has struck our nation. My heart breaks for the victims and their families in El Paso. We must end this epidemic of violence that’s tearing our nation apart," Rep. Larson added in a tweet.
Congressman Jim Himes also tweeted a statement demanding a change following the El Paso shooting.
"I ran out of words long ago. No other country has this problem. If you aren’t acting to solve this problem now, you are complicit. Spare me your pathetic pseudo-pious thoughts and prayers. Tell me what you will do now or keep quiet and hang your head in shame. #ElPasoShooting," he tweeted.
Less than 24 hours later, a man wearing body armor, armed with a rifle and high-capacity magazines opened fire on a line of people waiting to get inside a bar overnight in Dayton, Ohio, officials said. The suspected shooter was quickly killed by police and has been identified by a senior law enforcement official as 24-year-old Connor Betts.
Authorities said nine people were killed, not including the shooter, and at least 27 others are injured.
Calls for Action
On Sunday, Gov. Ned Lamont released a statement also calling for action.
“There is a real epidemic of domestic terrorism growing in this country, with at least one of this weekend’s mass shootings reportedly perpetrated by a white nationalist. These are acts of evil generated by an expanding ideology of hatred. It’s far past time that leaders throughout our country take action against this plague that is tearing our nation apart," he said.
“We need leadership, particularly in Washington, that will not be owned by special interests. We need leadership that will not cave to the NRA and will act in the best interest of the people of our country. We need action because thoughts and prayers will not stop mass murder,” Governor Lamont added.
U.S. Senator Chris Murphy also tweeted that something must be done following both shootings.
"These young men contemplating mass murder take note of the inaction of their government, shooting after shooting, and their broken minds infer endorsement by our silence. If you're doing nothing - again - after the last 24 hours, the blood is soaking deeper into your hands," Sen. Murphy said.
U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal also tweeted that his heart is with the victims of the tragedies.
"Senseless unspeakable gun violence claims more innocent victims & rips apart another community. Our hearts go to the families & all hurt, & deep thanks to first responders. Enough is enough. We know what must be done to end this epidemic of violence," Sen. Blumenthal said.
Connecticut Citizens Defense League Response
President of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League Scott Wilson also released a statement sending sympathies to everyone involved in the shootings in El Paso and Dayton.
"Our sympathies go out to the victims of recent mass shootings. The murder of innocent people by crazed individuals is not something we as an organization condone. Our support of the Right to Keep and Bear arms is based in the belief that we as Americans should always have the means to protect ourselves and our families from harm," he said in part.
"Given that there are already thousands of laws pertaining to firearms across our country, it is difficult to conceive of any law that would stop someone from attempting to commit the most vile act of mass-murder," he added.
State Police: Run, Hide or Fight
Connecticut State Police also remind citizens that if they are ever in an active shooter situation, they should run, hide or fight, whichever one is safest. Then they should call or text 911 when it's safe to do so.
About the Rally
Governor Lamont, Senator Blumenthal, Senator Murphy, other members of Connecticut’s Congressional delegation, state legislators, representatives of gun violence prevention organizations and advocates will hold a rally at 11:30 a.m. to urge federal action on gun violence prevention measures.
The news conference will be held on the north steps of the State Capitol in Hartford