Saying it's time for "votes and laws, not thoughts and prayers," Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam called for an emergency special session of the state legislature on Tuesday to take action on gun control in the wake of a mass shooting at a government building in Virginia Beach that left 12 people dead.
"Once more hearts are broken, lives are shattered and families are crushed," Northam, flanked by government leaders, said during a speech in Richmond, the state's capital.
"Once more a community is in shock and pain and grief. And once more we will hear folks offer their thoughts and prayers," he said. "We must do more than our thoughts and prayers. We must give Virginians action."
The governor exercised his authorities under the state constitution to call the legislature into special session to tackle the issues, saying the state cannot afford to put off the challenge of protecting its citizens from gun violence. abcnews