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California politicos react to San Bernardino killings

California’s elected officials are sounding off on Wednesday’s mass shooting at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, in which 14 people reportedly were killed and more wounded.

Gov. Jerry Brown cancelled the Capitol Christmas tree lighting ceremony that had been scheduled for Wednesday night. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ families and everyone affected by the brutal attack,” he said in an emailed statement. “California will spare no effort in bringing these killers to justice.”

From House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco:

“Today, yet another American community is reeling from the horror of gun violence. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of San Bernardino. As the families of the victims grieve and the survivors focus on healing, the entire American family mourns.

“Gun violence is a crisis of epidemic proportions in our nation. Congress has a moral responsibility to vote on common sense measures to prevent the daily agony of gun violence in communities across America. Enough is enough.”

From U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif:

“Today we add San Bernardino to the long list of communities that have fallen victim to a mass shooting, and my heart is with the victims and their families.

“Details in San Bernardino are still murky, but what we do know is that these deadly shootings aren’t slowing down. Just a week after a deadly attack in Colorado Springs, we’re prepared to mourn more victims today.

“The Washington Post reported this week that in the first 334 days of 2015, there were 351 mass shootings. That’s an average of more than one deadly rampage for every day this year.

“USA Today reported that the National Instant Criminal Background Check System ran more than 185,000 checks for gun purchases the day after Thanksgiving. That doesn’t even count the sales that took place online or at gun shows, where no checks are necessary.

“When a convicted felon can walk into a gun show and buy an assault rifle, that’s a problem. When an individual with a known mental illness can buy an assault rifle online, that’s a problem. When a terrorist who can’t board an airplane can buy an assault rifle in a gun store, that’s a problem.
“Congress also has a problem—a debilitating fear of upsetting the gun lobby. Congress refuses even to require background checks on all firearms purchases, an action supported by the vast majority of Americans.

“Each time I see breaking news of yet another mass shooting, I feel it in the pit of my stomach. Congress can’t stop every shooting, but we can help reduce their frequency. I remain hopeful that enough of my colleagues will join me to make that a reality.”

More, after the jump…

From Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom:

“It is with deepest sadness that Jennifer and I offer our condolences to the families and loved ones of those whose lives were stolen in San Bernardino today.

“This is a moment to focus every ounce of our compassion and thoughts with those who are grieving, who said goodbye today as they do every morning, and whose only light in a terrible darkness is now the memories that they still hold.

“I’m grateful to San Bernardino’s first responders for their heroic work, to the Governor’s Office and the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, for their energy in coordinating a local and state response and exercising every effort to ensure public safety and bringing the full force of justice to those responsible.”

From Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Santa Ana:

“I am horrified by today’s terrifying shooting in San Bernardino.

“It’s heartbreaking to see yet another community, so close to home, under attack from the devastating gun violence that we’ve seen increasing across our nation in the past year. My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims, survivors, their families and loved ones of this senseless tragedy.

“As this situation develops, I hope the residents of San Bernardino and the rest of the Inland Empire stay safe while law enforcement continues its search for the perpetrators.

“Congress owes it to the families we represent to take immediate steps to prevent gun violence from tormenting our communities and taking innocent lives. Our nation cannot accept this continued gun violence as a part of everyday life. We must end this now.”

From state Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles:

“I’m truly disturbed by the tragic news coming from San Bernardino. These shootings have become too commonplace in our country and that has to change right away. These are real lives being lost in the most senseless way possible and I’m afraid we are becoming numb and accepting this as a way of life in America. It doesn’t have to be this way.

“My heart goes out to the families and friends of the victims and those injured. And I thank our law enforcement officials for their ongoing efforts to track down the perpetrators.

“As we start the holiday season, let’s celebrate life and reflect on what is right with the world. Hold your loved ones closer and let’s promise one another that together we will work to make this world a safer and happier place for our children and future generations.”

From state Senate Republican Leader Jean Fuller, R-Bakersfield:

“My thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their loved ones and all of the first responders who are heroically responding to this terrible tragedy. Any attack on innocent victims is horrific, but this attack, at a center that aids people with disabilities, is beyond upsetting and tragic.”

From state Sen. Jim Beall, D-San Jose:

“My thoughts and prayers are with the innocent victims who were caught in the gunfire at the Inland Regional Center. The viciousness of this crime is incomprehensible, and all the more so because it just happened to occur in a place dedicated to aiding some of California’s most vulnerable people.”

From state Sen. Bob Huff, R-San Dimas:

“The horrific attack that cost the lives of 14 innocent people is an act of cowardice and an attack on our American freedoms and the way of life we cherish. I would like to send my most sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims who were killed and my hopes, best wishes and prayers of recovery to those who survived.

“I would also like to express my deepest gratitude to the men and women of the San Bernardino Police Department, County Sheriff’s Department and Riverside Police Department who tracked these suspected gunmen down and stopped them cold. They showed incredible bravery and courage in the face of extreme danger and I am very grateful for the sacrifice and risks they took to keep our communities safe from further bloodshed.

“I would now call for patience and time to allow our criminal investigators to piece together exactly what happened and why before drawing any sort of conclusion.”

From Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, D-San Diego:

“Today brings another senseless mass shooting with more innocent lives lost. We mourn for those who were killed, we pray for those who were injured, we grieve for those who loved the lost, and we hold our own loved ones a little tighter. Part of us, sadly, also instinctively wants to start steeling ourselves for the news of the next one to come.

“This is a season dedicated to light and miracles, and one dark act will not change that. But it’s also time we come together and see the light as a nation to stop this kind of thing from happening. That won’t take a miracle, just resolve.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.