Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom provided a very strong response to one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history -- 27 people -- died Friday morning during a shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.

Here's Newsom's statement:

"For those calling for the postponement of any discussion of gun and mental health policy in America - you are wrong.

Just WRONG!

We postponed after the President and his press secretary, James Brady were shot more than 30 years ago. We postponed after the tragedy in Columbine 13 years ago. We postponed after Virginia Tech five years ago. We postponed after Representative Gabriel Giffords was shot in 2011. We postponed in July when a mentally disturbed James Eagan Holmes opened fire in a crowded movie theatre. And earlier this week, people said it was too soon to talk about gun and mental health policy when a gunman opened fire at a crowded mall in Oregon.

Today, President Barack Obama addressed the nation from the White House briefing room named for James Brady and now we turn to our political leaders to finally and decisively act.

Prayers are important. We are a nation that always prays at times of great tragedy. But prayer is not enough as we learn in James 2 14-26, "What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works...Faith without works is dead."

Today is a clarion call to all leaders, regardless of political party, to act purposefully. Senseless gun violence is not simply about gun control. It must also include meaningful discussion of mental health policy in America. Political parties must be realistic - Democrats can't draw the line in the sand at banning all guns and Republicans can't dig in on the status quo.

The NRA and the gun lobby are not supportive the President and now is the time for him to give them a real reason. The President must call the question. Put the gun lobby on the bench. Call on every member of congress to step out from behind the money and power of the gun lobby and act before we are lulled back into a false sense of security and forget to have the conversation again until the next tragedy. There are families in Connecticut, Oregon, Virginia, California, Arizona, Colorado, Wisconsin and every other state that have suffered loss due to gun violence and they do not want a postponement this debate any longer.

How many more people have to die before we decide the time is right to have this debate and take action? Now is a time for prayer and leadership.


Congresswoman Janice Hahn released the following statement:

"I am just heartbroken by what has happened at the elementary school in Connecticut. When you drop your kids off at school in the morning, you expect them to be safe. It is a desperately sad day for our country. As a parent, it is too terrible for words. My thoughts and prayers are with the children and their families in these dark hours.

This never should have happened. I am willing to work with Congress in any way to try and prevent this from ever happening again."


Here's a comment from Congressman David Dreier on today's events:

"The tragedy that occurred today is horrifying beyond words. We have been shaken as a nation by a pattern of senseless violence in recent months, but today's shootings have reached a terrifying new level. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims, and the entire community of Newtown, Connecticut."


This is a statement from Representative Joe Baca:

"As a father and grandfather, I am truly heartbroken and stunned by the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. While no words can console the parents and families of the victims, my thoughts, prayers, and deepest sympathies go out to all those affected by these horrifying events. America's children are our most precious resource. As a nation, we must come together and do all we can to help comfort and heal the families of today's victims."


Congressman Gary Miller on the tragedy:

"I was stunned to hear about this senseless and horrific crime. Words cannot adequately express the depth of sorrow and grief all Americans feel today for the innocent lives lost. My deepest condolences and prayers remain with them, their families and the entire community of Newtown, Connecticut as they work to recover from this unspeakable tragedy."


Statement from Assemblymember Cheryl R. Brown:

"I'm deeply saddened to hear about the Connecticut School Shooting that occurred this morning killing 26 people, including 20 children. My heart goes out to the families of the victims. Over the past years, we have endured far too many of these senseless acts of violence. I'm truly sorry that our nation must undergo another traumatic experience. Mental health issues seem to be at the crux of a majority of these tragic events.

In California, we need to make sure that prevention and mental health services are accessible to all that need these services. We also need to erase any stigma related to mental health illness. My prayers and thoughts go out to all the families impacted by this violence."


From Assemblywoman Norma Torres:

"I am stunned, as are all Americans, by this horrendous tragedy. The massacre of innocent young children makes this even more abominable, and it's just a terrible, terrible thing that once again our nation has to go through more emotional healing. The fact that these are children that were fired upon just makes it even more of a horrendous crime.

I posted something on my website regarding the Mayan calendar. They're predicting the beginning the new era and in many ways I think, I'm hoping and praying that it is the beginning of a new era where we are able to protect our children and shield them from mentally unstable people like the shooter.

There's always room to discuss these issues publicly and absolutely we need to continue to try to find ways to identify people that are mentally unstable. We have to think about that. This is a crime that was committee with weapons that were legally purchased and legally registered. Last year we passed a bill, assembly bill 1527, restricting guns in public places, however we still need to deal more and address more the issue that is mental illness. Mental illness is a growing problem in the United States and California and that's something I think that's going to be a little more difficult to get our hands around.

Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of all the victims, not just in Connecticut but also in China. Twenty-two children whose throats were slashed today, also a grandmother was murdered with a knife, so these incidents are not unique to the U.S. It's a bigger problem.

People that want to help, right now is the perfect time. People's hearts are really heavy and they want to help and one way they can help is making sure the blood supply is plentiful and available, so when incidents like this happen they're not scrambling to call out and get more blood donations. People that want to help, they can donate here at the blood center right here in Pomona, near Cal Poly. "


Representative Grace Napolitano released the following statement:

"I am saddened and troubled by this tragic, senseless violence in Connecticut. Having children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of my own, my heart grieves with the parents who have lost their little ones. My deepest thoughts and prayers are with the students, teachers, families, and the entire Newtown community this evening."

"Today's tragic events shed light on the continued discussion and action needed in Congress to address the issues of mental health and gun safety. We must all work together to secure and protect the federal funding needed to carry out mental health services and programs for all Americans. We must ensure that mental health support is made available for all children, their families, first responders, and the community of Newtown to help deal with this tragic event."

Napolitano serves as the co-chair of the Congressional Mental Health Caucus and has introduced legislation, the Mental Health in Schools Act, to fund on-site mental health services for youth. The program is designed as a preventive measure to identify mental health problems in children early on and to help prevent tragic outcomes like depression, crime, and suicide that can occur later in life. The Mental Health in Schools Act is modeled off of Napolitano's "Youth Suicide Prevention Program," which she helped develop and fund for schools in her district since 2001.


From Congressman Howard "Buck" McKeon:

"Our world has been shattered today. There are no words to adequately express the absolute grief and horror we as a nation are feeling. As the evolving details of this senseless and unspeakable tragedy emerge, our hearts continue to break. As a father and grandfather, I can't even begin to comprehend the pain that these families are feeling today. Our heavy hearts, thoughts and prayers are with the victims, families, friends and the entire town of Newtown. God bless."


From Congresswoman-elect Gloria Negrete McLeod's Facebook page:

"My thoughts and prayers go out to the students, teachers, staff and families who were impacted by the loss of innocent lives in the senseless and tragic school shooting that occurred in Newton, Connecticut this morning."


Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff issued the following statement:

Last week's tragedy in Connecticut was one of unspeakable heartbreak. An entire community has been shattered by the violent actions of one mentally ill individual. It is at times like these when we must come together to form a common bond of compassion and grief.

I can only express my deepest condolences to the friends and families of the victims of the Newtown shooting and all the people of Connecticut who are struggling to deal with the magnitude of this trauma, knowing that there will always be a dark cloud over their lives that goes back to that terrible December day; to the school teachers and administrators who never imagined such a tragedy occurring in their close-knit community, and to the first responders - the police officers, firefighters, paramedics, hospital personnel, counselors and others throughout the community who accepted the call and stepped in to help, serve and minister. I pray that they find comfort in their faith and are bolstered by the strength and love of neighbors and friends and a nation that shares their grief.

As we search for answers there will be talk of how we can better identify mental illness, implement better security measures on school campuses or promote increased parental involvement. Such discussions certainly have a place; but for now, let us all simply offer up our prayers and comfort as we mourn with the people of Connecticut during this difficult time.


State Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg issued the following statement:

"I am stunned, as are all Americans, by this horrendous tragedy. The massacre of innocent young children makes this even more abominable, and my heart breaks for those kids, their families, and their classmates and teachers. We hold them in our hearts and in our prayers.

"Since the late 1980's, we have seen such terror unfold at schools all over the country, including close to home in Olivehurst, Stockton and Southern California. Wherever it occurs, we are all touched by these despicable crimes against the innocent.

"In the weeks and months ahead, we will learn more about how this happened and what may have been done to help prevent it. It's incumbent upon us to ask the questions that need answers, examine the circumstances, and to address these issues with whatever steps we can take to better protect our families and our schools.

"Now however, is a time for us to mourn, and to hold our children and loved ones closer as we pray for the victims in Newtown, Connecticut."


Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster released this statement:

"Our prayers go out to each of the families and the entire Newtown community in the wake of such unspeakable tragedy.

"I want to take a moment to assure our students and families here in Long Beach that your Police Department and the Long Beach Unified School District are in communication and also encourage parents to seek help if they need it in talking with their children about what happened."


From the Los Angeles Police Department:

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families in Connecticut and all who are affected by this unspeakable act." said LAPD Chief Charlie Beck. "The LAPD is totally committed to work with our LAUSD and private school partners to ensure that our students and staff are safe."


United Teachers Los Angeles' statement:

"UTLA expresses its sympathy to all those affected by the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. As parents and educators we know the impact of this senseless act of violence will not soon fade. Long after media attention has waned, the healing process will continue. As our members celebrate the holidays with their families, we ask that they remember the students, teachers, parents and the entire community of Newtown."