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Reactions to the Parkland Mass Shooting from Candidates in California

We’re still in shock after a horrific mass shooting at a school in Parkland, Florida left 17 people dead. We grieve for the victims and their loved ones. But we’re also empty, numb, and angry with the knowledge that Republicans in Congress will do nothing to stop the epidemic of mass shootings in this country. We’d love to be proven wrong. Sincerely. If you’re a Republican lawmaker reading this, prove us wrong and DO SOMETHING.

In times like this, it’s hard to know what to say, so we thought we’d open the floor to the challengers running in the 14 congressional districts in California currently represented by a Republican.

To be clear, this does not imply an endorsement of the candidates or their message. We have not endorsed a specific candidate in any race, and our core mission is to help lay the groundwork for victory for whoever advances in the June primary. These posts were collected on Twitter, sorted by district, and then sorted by alphabetical order. For space constraints, we limited tweets to one per candidate. We apologize in advance if we missed any posts or if any posts were written after the completion of this email, and we’ll happily update this list if and when additional candidates weigh in. E-mail us at to flag a missing candidate.

Here they are:

Congressional District 1 (currently represented by Rep. Doug LaMalfa):

Audrey Denney:

18 #schoolshootings since Jan. 1st. Parents should never have to worry if their kids will return home from school safely. This is a nuanced & complex issue, but our representatives need to come together now & take action to help prevent more tragedies. #EndGunViolence

Congressional District 4 (currently represented by Rep. Tom McClintock):

Regina Bateson: (retweet from Rep. Adam Schiff)

My heart is broken again — this time for the victims of the Parkland school shooting, and the families whose children will not come home today. It is within the power of Congress to save lives, if we find the courage to act.

Roza Calderon:

The heartache that our nation faces at the hand of gun violence must come to an end. My heart goes out to those affected by today's devastating tragedy. Congress or not, I will fight the NRA and those who support a violent gun culture. #ENOUGH #FloridaLOVE

Jessica Morse:

My heart breaks for the students, families & teachers in Parkland, Florida, but thoughts & prayers are not enough. Our children shouldn't have to worry about being shot in their classrooms. We must do more to prevent these senseless acts of gun violence.

Congressional District 8 (currently represented by Rep. Paul Cook):

Marge Doyle:

I am horrified and deeply saddened that so many children and their families in Florida are dealing with this violent tragedy in their own backyard. – MD

Congressional District 10 (currently represented by Rep. Jeff Denham):

Michael Barkley:

Congressman Jeff Denham cares more about you having all the guns you could ever possibly want than he does about the lives of your children, your spouse, your neighbors, or the other 30,000 people killed by gunfire every year in this country. --mike

TJ Cox:

In this speech (, Chris Murphy captures my feelings about the school shooting in Florida today: profound sadness for the victims, & outrage that our government has done nothing to stop this epidemic of violence.

Virginia Madueno:

Jeff Denham’s solution was co-sponsoring the NRA’s #1 priority for 2017, Concealed Carry Reciprocity. This bill forces California to allow people convicted of domestic violence, access to concealed weapons. #CA10 #gunsense

Dotty Nygard:

It’s tragic and painful to realize that #NRA #Republicans like @RepJeffDenham push to both cut mental health funding and repeal protections to prevent the mentally ill from obtaining firearms.

We need new leadership and we need #MedicareForAll.

Congressional District 22 (currently represented by Rep. Devin Nunes):

Ricardo Franco:

There is a lot of talk about how the NRA is invincible. But it is not a lost cause. We can work together to deliver gun control and protect America’s youth. And we must. #NotOneMore #CA22 #FrancoforCongress

Andrew Janz:

What happened in Florida yesterday was a tragedy. We can't let the NRA stop us from having meaningful gun safety reform

Congressional District 23 (currently represented by Rep. Kevin McCarthy):

Tatiana Matta:

As a mother and military spouse, there is nothing that keeps me up at night more than the thought of violence affecting a loved one. Today the lives of 17 families in Florida were changed forever.

Wendy Reed:

I defend reasonable gun ownership.  I cannot defend school slaughters.  I cannot defend sellout politicians who...

Congressional District 25 (currently represented by Rep. Steve Knight):

Bryan Caforio:

The videos coming out of the school today are horrifying. There's really not much more we can say at this point. People will keep dying until our leaders learn to lead. #Parkland

Katie Hill:

The longer lawmakers abdicate their responsibility - to pass common sense gun safety measures, to fully fund mental health assessments, intervention, and treatment, and address the other related factors, the more people are going to fall victim to these kinds of atrocities.

Michael Masterman-Smith:

Our government failed us today. Congress needs to stop hiding behind the Dickey Amendment which prohibits the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention from preventing #gunviolence. In Congress I will fight to overthrow this amendment to help keep Americans safe. #FloridaShooting

Jess Phoenix:

If your member of Congress DOESN'T come out in favor of gun law reform, vote them out. No more NRA holding our legislators hostage. We are done. #TheResistance #BlueWave2018 #GunReformNow

Congressional District 39 (currently represented by Rep. Ed Royce):

Gil Cisneros:

Another horrific school shooting & Trump & Republicans in Congress are still just offering thoughts and prayers. It's time for real action. We have to stop making excuses & finally pass comprehensive gun reform immediately. #CA39

Steve Cox:

I’m sorry, but the numbers are the numbers, & they indicate that gun laws will *not* prevent these things from happening.

But there *are* things we *can* do to prevent school shootings, & other mass shootings.

Universal (inc. mental) healthcare is a great start.

Sam Jammal:

My heart breaks for the parents who lost their children & young people traumatized by seeing their classmates and teachers shot. We desperately need a new politics - not just a new Congress. 17 young people died today because our government refuses to take common sense measures.

Phil Janowicz:

As a teacher, I'm mortified just imagining what these students had to go through & my heart breaks thinking about their families. We have to finally say that the time for "conversations" about gun violence is over, it's time for action, & it's time for results. Not. One. More.

Andy Thorburn:

No. Demanding common sense gun laws does not mean we want to take your guns. The “slippery slope” argument does not apply.

How many more will die? #CommonSenseGunReform

Mai Khanh Tran:

At least 17 lives were lost today in the Florida shooting. @ChrisMurphyCT is right. Only in the US have such shootings become common, & it's because of how careless we are about gun safety. Where is our #gunsense?! When will we value our kids as much as our guns? #guncontrol

Congressional District 42 (currently represented by Rep. Ken Calvert):

Julia Peacock:

There are more retail stores in the United States where you can buy a gun than there are Starbucks on the entire planet. It is no wonder we are mourning 17 deaths from another school shooting. We must do better for our children.

Matty Wood:

A solid piece by @NickKristof from a few months ago that I didn't see until now.

I support the Second Amendment #2A, but it doesn't mean unfettered access to guns for all people. There are common-sense actions we should be taking to reduce gun violence. 

Congressional District 45 (currently represented by Rep. Mimi Walters):

Brian Forde:

Powerful words about the responsibility of our elected officials to prevent mass shootings like the one that took place today — one of the 10 most deadly in modern US history. 

@RepMimiWalters when will you stop taking money from @NRA and start standing up for our children?

Kia Hamadanchy:

This, this, and this!

Dave Min:

Heartbreaking news from Florida. This is the 19th school shooting this year.

My thoughts & prayers are w/ the victims. More importantly, I promise them I'll never accept $ from the NRA or its allies & I'll fight to make our communities safe from the specter of gun violence.

Katie Porter:

We must do everything humanly possible to stop gun violence from killing our children, friends, and family. This has to stop.

We must all come together and demand that Congress take action to help prevent more senseless tragedies.

Congressional District 48 (currently represented by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher):

Hans Keirstead:

CAUTION - Disturbing footage. Lawmakers need to see what it's like for our children to experience the terror of another school shooting. @DanaRohrabacher are you going to do something to protect our kids? #CA48 @MomsDemand @GiffordsCourage

Kevin Kensinger:

Modern @NRA functions as marketing arm for #GunLobby, nothing more.

#PhilandoCastile case solidified that for us. A lawful #gunowner...

Their deafening silence today, further proof.

#NRA has 5M members in a country of 340M & blocks federal funds from researching gun violence.

Michael Kotick:

Last night, I heard so-called experts say, “kids should learn self-defense - throwing backpacks & chairs”

Throwing backpacks? Seriously?

How about #GunReformNow.

If Congress won’t act, voters will.

Still waiting for a statement from Dana Rohrabacher...


Laura Oatman: (retweet from Bill Madden)

Our Founding Fathers would be outraged that we've allowed America to be awash in AR-15s:

"Do any of you Republican ignoramuses understand that when we adopted the Second Amendment in 1791, our most destructive gun was a musket?"

— Founding Fathers, from the grave


Rachel Payne: (retweet from Huntington Beach Huddle)

Attending or working at a school in is no longer safe.But neither is a church,a theater,a concert or a mall.We don’t need a border wall.We need mental health resources and universal background checks for gun purchases.#GunActionNOW

Harley Rouda:

I am heartbroken. Our children are in a war zone and the @NRA and @GOP are supplying the weapons with their continual attacks on common sense, national gun laws and restrictions. Where do you stand Dana? #CA48 @RepRohrabacher @shannonrwatts

Omar Siddiqui:

Our hearts break for the victims & families of today's terrible shooting in Florida. We will never recover from the lives lost today. Our prayers & mourning must be followed by action. We must demand Congress to enact sensible #GunReform. The time is now.

Tony Zarkades:

.. yet we still do NOTHING!

Canceling a press briefing does NOTHING to address making it more difficult for the next disturbed person from getting a gun and shooting-up a school!

The on-going inaction of Congress to address common sense GUN SAFETY REFORM is unacceptable!

Congressional District 49 (currently represented by Rep. Darrell Issa):

Doug Applegate:

Another senseless shooting. Nothing will be done by the NRA funded GOP. We need #GunReformNow

Sara Jacobs:

I am devastated for the families who lost their loved ones in Parkland and the survivors who endured so much trauma.  This is the fifth mass shooting in Florida this year.  We need stronger gun laws.  We need Congress to protect our schools and communities.  Lives depend on it.

Paul Kerr:

Terrible news out of Florida with yet another school shooting. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. We need to take action NOW to reduce gun violence.

Mike Levin:

We simply cannot accept our nation's high rate of school shootings as the new normal.

This Congress is making things worse with bad ideas like concealed carry reciprocity.

We must fight for a different Congress that puts our communities and schools ahead of the gun lobby.

Christina Prejean:

What happened today was devastating. It's tragic that innocent lives are lost, all because our politicians are bought by #NRAbloodmoney. @NRA


--Flip the 14

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