Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy called California Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday to express condolences following a mass shooting in San Bernardino that reportedly claimed the lives of at least 14 people.
“We both commiserated about these kinds of situations taking place in our country,” Malloy said.
A little more than a week away from the anniversary of the 2012 mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Malloy said he offered Brown whatever assistance Connecticut could provide.
Malloy said Connecticut has experience in dealing with mass shootings following the events at Sandy Hook Elementary School where a gunman claimed the lives of 20 first graders and six educators. He said the state has a “level of expertise” in handling these mass shootings that they’ve been asked to share with people.
“We’ve been called upon to share that with state and local governments that have had similar problems,” Malloy said.
In addition to offering California help, Malloy has increased the police presence around the state’s Department of Developmental Services locations. The shooting in California took place at the Inland Regional Center, which provides services to the developmentally disabled.
“In light of today’s events, we will have enhanced State Police patrols at DDS facilities out of an abundance of caution,” Malloy said in a statement. “Our hearts are with this community tonight.”
Connecticut’s Congressional delegation also offered their condolences and support.
“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,” U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy said. “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.”
Earlier in the day, U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty spoke on the floor of the House to call upon Congressional leaders to bring common sense gun safety legislation to the floor for a vote.
“My heart goes out to the families in San Bernardino whose loved ones were senselessly gunned down today,” Esty said in a statement. “But make no mistake; we simply cannot accept this violence as the ‘new normal.’ Congress needs to truly honor the victims of this urgent public health crisis by bringing common sense legislation to the floor for a vote. The American people deserve action, not moments of silence.”
However, Connecticut’s largest grassroots gun rights group warned against jumping to any conclusions.
“Once again we have Governor Malloy spouting off for more gun control before any facts are out about who may have committed the atrocity in San Bernadino and why they committed it,” Scott Wilson, president of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, said.
Wilson added that he typically tries to refrain from commenting in the early stages of a mass shooting, but “it is becoming increasingly harder to do so given the fact that elected officials run to the microphone while these events are still in progress. A sane person would be foolish to listen to any of these people, given that their ultimate goal is to eradicate our 2nd Amendment, and to disarm the population of this country.”