Representative Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), one of Congress' most vocal advocates for gun control, assailed her colleagues on Sunday's Meet the Press for being too afraid to pursue such legislation.

“A lot of politicians know it’s the right thing to try to fight for something to save lives. They don’t have a spine anymore," she said. "They pander to who’s giving them money."

That statement comes as gun control advocates are pushing for tougher policies following last week's deadly shooting in Colorado at a midnight premiere of the new Batman movie. That shooting left 12 dead and more severely wounded.

McCarthy is personally familiar with the mortal consequences of gun violence. In 1993, her husband was killed and her son critically injured by a gunman who opened fire on the Long Island Railroad. Three years later, McCarthy was elected to Congress in 1996 after running on a strong gun control platform.

Since entering Congress, McCarthy has pushed for tougher gun safety laws nationwide. In the wake of last years' shooting rampage in Arizona that critically wounded Rep. Gabby Giffords and killed six others, McCarthy introduced legislation to curb sales of the high-capacity magazines used by the shooter in that incident.

Also on Meet the Press, McCarthy objected to the assertion by Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) that if people in that Colorado movie theater had been armed, they could have stopped the shooter before he killed so many people.

"Can you imagine in that theater, smoke, it’s dark and everybody starts shooting, I think the massacre would have been a lot worse,” she said.