SALT LAKE CITY — Following the Texas school shooting that left 21 people dead, including 19 children, Utah's elected leaders shared their condolences with those who lost their lives, but provided few solutions on how they will help stop the wave of mass shootings across the country.
Senators Mike Lee and Mitt Romney were among the first to express sorrow over the shootings on Twitter.
"My heart breaks at the tragic news from Texas today. I pray for the victims, their families, and for our nation at this difficult time," wrote Lee.
"Grief overwhelms the soul. Children slaughtered. Lives extinguished. Parents’ hearts wrenched. Incomprehensible. I offer prayer and condolence but know that it is grossly inadequate. We must find answers," tweeted Romney.
Lee and Romney, both Republicans, faced the ire of Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy who questioned the party over its failure to address the country's gun problem through legislation.
“Our heart is breaking for these families. Every ounce of love and thoughts and prayers we can send, we are sending,” said Murphy. "But I’m here on this floor to beg to literally get down on my hands and knees and beg my colleagues. Find a path forward here. Work with us to find a way to pass laws that make this less likely.”
Early Wednesday, Rep. Blake Moore said he had cleared his schedule to talk to his sons about what had happened in Uvalde. He added that he hopes to be part of a unified effort to bring violent shootings to an end.
"Our nation is mourning and our communities are struggling. I want my constituents to know that I am someone who seeks unity, not division; avoids divisive rhetoric; and focuses on creating the type of world we want for our kids," wrote Moore. "Jane and I are heartbroken by this tragedy. Our hearts go out to each impacted family and pray they find peace."
Rep. Burgess Owens also took to social media to share his thoughts on the tragedy.
"This was a senseless act of pure evil, and my prayers are with the families of these precious, innocent souls. As a father and grandfather, I cannot imagine the devastation they are feeling this moment," Owens tweeted.
Later Wednesday, Rep. John Curtis used a tweet to express pride in Congress' efforts with mental health initiatives, while also saying the group's work was not done.
"It is devastating when our innocent children become the victims of senseless violence. I trust we'll learn more in the upcoming days about how this could have been prevented but I'm proud of the work we have done in Congress on mental health parity," said Curtis. "That said, we still have much more we can do."