The spirited debate over gun violence quickly spilled into the Congress on Monday, a day after a gunman shot and killed 26 people at a church in a rural town near San Antonio, Texas, as Democrats said lawmakers should act to ban assault weapons, while Republicans said now was not the right time to talk about any legislative action on guns.
"It's important that we allow this investigation to be completed, so we can know exactly what happened," said Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), as he spoke about the mass shooting in his home state.
"We ought to want to know exactly what the facts are before we decide what the best course of action might be," Cornyn added on the Senate floor.
Cornyn spoke just after an impassioned plea from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who ridiculed the GOP call to wait, arguing that's what Republicans say after every mass shooting.
"Thoughts and prayers are not going to stop the next mass shooting," Gillibrand said in a Senate floor speech, as she called for action on real legislation by lawmakers.
"People who don't want to have an honest conversation say we need to wait - well, for how long?" Gillibrand asked.
"We should ban assault weapons and bump stocks today," Gillibrand added, referring to the gun accessory used by the shooter in Las Vegas to more quickly fire on the crowd at an outdoor country music festival.
The remarks today from both parties echoed exactly what happened just over a month ago after the Vegas attack, in which 59 people were killed, and hundreds more injured, as Democrats pressed for some kind of action on gun violence, while GOP lawmakers counseled patience.
Here's the speech from Sen. Gillibrand, followed by the speech from Sen. Cornyn:
"Our pattern of doing nothing after mass shootings must end," said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). "Gun violence in America is a major crisis which must be addressed."
Democrats who favor gun controls - even limited actions - have been in the minority in Congress for over 20 years, and that situation has not been altered by any of the major shootings of recent years, including Las Vegas, Orlando, Newtown, Connecticut and others.
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