The U.S. Congress must examine what can be done to respond to the Connecticut school shooting, including possibly new legislation, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on Monday.
Reid told the Senate he agreed with President Barack Obama that no one law could erase evil, but added "we need to accept the reality that we are not doing enough to protect our citizens."
The remarks were significant coming from Reid, a Democrat from Nevada who during Obama's first term opposed reviving a ban on assault weapons.
Reid, speaking on the Senate floor, did not mention specific potential reforms.
"In the coming days and weeks we'll engage in a meaningful conversation and thoughtful debate about how to change laws and culture that allow this violence to continue to grow," Reid said. He said "every idea should be on the table" as lawmakers discuss how to keep America's children safe.
The violence last Friday left dead 20 children and eight adults in Newtown, Connecticut, all with high-power assault weapons.
Reid is the third pro-gun rights Democrat to come forward and suggest it's time for change.
Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Mark Warner of Virginia also said Monday new laws must be discussed.
Manchin, a vocal pro-gun advocate, said he would be open to restricting high powered assault weapons and multiple-round magazines.
"We've never been in these waters before – we've had horrific crimes throughout our country, but never have we seen so many of our babies put in harm's way and their life taken from them and the grief," he told CNBC. "That's changed me, and it's changed most Americans I would think."
President Obama also jumped into the debate with an impassioned speech in Newton where he suggested congress had failed children.
"We can't accept events like this as routine. ... Are we prepared to say such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?"
Democrats have mentioned a proposal by Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif. as one worth considering.
"I think most of us realize that there are ways to get to rational gun control," Warner said today during an interview. "There are ways to grapple with the obvious challenges of mental illness."
Manchin went further saying the NRA had to be part of discussions and find a "reasonable" solution. The group took down its Facebook page over the weekend apparently after comments left there.
"They are going to be a strong participant, and they should be at the table, and I'm going to do everything I can to make sure they are," he said.
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