While presiding over his first Capitol Christmas tree lighting ceremony on Wednesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) held a moment of silence for the victims of the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, and asked for prayers.
"We are all thinking about the current and ongoing tragedy in California today," he said. "Please keep the victims and families in your prayers right now."
Just a day earlier, Ryan had urged Congress to prioritize mental health reform in response to last week's mass shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado. He did not mention steps related to gun control, such as mandating background checks and closing loopholes that make it easy to buy guns.
"I’m sure that members of both parties have lots of ideas in this area, but we should make this a priority to prevent the violence to protect our citizens," he said, calling mental illness a "common denominator" in gun violence.
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