The best way to honor the victims of Sunday morning's mass killings at an Orlando nightclub is to change gun control laws and keep weapons out of the hands of those people who should not have them, Sen. Tim Kaine, who was the governor of Virginia at the time of the Virginia Tech shootings,
"The only way you can honor the lives that are lost is by making changes to reduce the chances that other families will go through this," the Democratic Virginia senator told MSNBC's "Morning Joe"
program. "We're talking on Capitol Hill about this issue of whether we should add people on the terrorist watch list to the prohibited classes of people from purchasing weapons. We need to dig into all the facts about this."
The 2007 Virginia Tech shootings, where 32 people were killed, was "the worst day of my life and is always going to be the worst day of my life, getting that news and starting to try to comfort the families of loved ones," said Kaine.
There is a danger that such events will quickly become politicized, but the grieving process needs to pass, said Kaine.
The Orlando nightclub attack, in which 49 people were killed, was an "unusual crime, and combines LGBT animus, the victims were primarily Latinos, there's a potential terrorism connection, there may be a mental health connection," said Kaine. "There's a lot of challenges.
Obviously the gun issue. These high-capacity magazines and assault weapons, there's a lot of issues in this. We've got to take the time to learn what went wrong, but then we've got to show some backbone up here and act to make our community safer."
Also on Wednesday, Kaine, who has been mentioned often as a potential running mate for presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, told the program that for now, he is "playing one role and only one role for the Clinton campaign, and that's to try to help her win Virginia. If she wins Virginia, she's going to be president."
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