After question, McCain says he backs gun rights on day of shooting
Published: Tuesday April 17, 2007
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Republican presidential contender Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) reaffirmed his support for Americans' gun rights on the same day 33 people were killed in the worst school shooting in US history.

A story filed by AP on Monday said McCain "says the shooting rampage at Virginia Tech does not change his view that the Constitution guarantees everyone the right to carry a weapon."

"We have to look at what happened here, but it doesn't change my views on the Second Amendment, except to make sure that these kinds of weapons don't fall into the hands of bad people," McCain declared in response to a question.

He made the statement before hearing details of the attacks, AP stated.

"I do believe in the constitutional right that everyone has, in the Second Amendment to the Constitution, to carry a weapon," McCain said. "Obviously we have to keep guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens."

Other presidential hopefuls expressed grief, AP noted:

  • Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY): "As a parent, I am filled with sorrow for the mothers and fathers and loved ones struggling with the sudden, unbearable news of a lost son or daughter, friend or family member."

  • Erstwhile Republican New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani: A "day of national tragedy, when we lost some of our finest to a senseless act."

  • Democrat John Edwards: "We are simply heartbroken by the deaths and injuries suffered at Virginia Tech. We know what an unspeakable, life-changing moment this is for these families and how, in this moment, it is hard to feel anything but overwhelming grief, much less the love and support around you. But the love and support is there."

  • Former GOP Mass. Gov Mitt Romney: "The entire nation grieves for the victims of this terrible tragedy that took place today on the campus of Virginia Tech. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and the entire Virginia Tech community."

  • Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL): "Today, we are a grieving and shocked nation. Violence has once again taken too many young people from this world."