Joe Biden on Orlando: 'Our prayers are not enough to end these kinds of senseless mass shootings'
Vice President Joe Biden addresses the HRC annual banquet in 2015 (Photo: Sarah Burris)

Vice President Joe Biden released a statement Sunday on the shooting in Orlando, Florida expressing compassion and empathy while also demanding action on gun violence in America.

"Jill and I offer our prayers and deepest condolences for all those affected by today’s horrific events," Biden said. "But our prayers are not enough to end these kinds of senseless mass shootings. The violence is not normal, and the targeting of our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans is evil and abhorrent."

Biden acknowledged that information was still being gathered for the investigation but, "we do know this—we will never rest in our relentless campaign to bring to justice all who would do America harm."

He echoed President Obama's sentiments of grief and said, "no act of terror—no despicable act of hate—can tear us asunder. Times of unspeakable tragedy and evil like this are the moments to remind the killers, and the world, of what is best in us, and what unites us."

He also cited those who were crucial in the early Sunday morning hours in helping at such a terrifying time. "We are grateful for the heroic actions of the Orlando Police, first responders—and many bystanders—who charged into danger and saved lives; who rushed the wounded to hospitals in ambulances, in police cars, in the backs of pickup trucks, and carried others to safety. As in the midst of so much evil, their acts are a reminder of the best in our common humanity."

Biden admitted defeat on gun control in March, but begged political leaders to continue the fight.

As the keynote speaker at the Human Rights Campaign's annual dinner last year, Biden received huge applause when he acknowledged, "there are homophobes still left. Most of them are running for President, I think."