Senator McConnell talks to students about Arizona shooting

Shelbyville, KY - By Matt McCutcheon - e-mail | bio

SHELBYVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell says the Arizona shootings on Saturday won't stand in the way of Democracy.

He spoke Monday morning to students at Martha Layne Collins High School in Shelbyville.

The Senator's visit to the school was planned several weeks ago, before the tragedy even took place, yet it was definitely was a topic that was front and center throughout his visit.

Surrounded by Secret Service and aides, McConnell made his way inside to talk to about two dozen sophomores.

He called the shooting devastating - both for those involved and the entire country.

"When an elected representative is gunned down in the very act of exchanging ideas with his or her constituents, Democracy itself is attacked," McConnell said. "And all Americans are united in condemning this unspeakable act of violence."

He continued: "We will thoroughly review the safety precautions that members of congress take and consider what - if anything - needs to change."

Monday's visit was McConnell's first to the brand-new high school, and the students asked questions on a variety of topics. But with an event forever marked on the pages of history, the Tucson shooting went from a small-group topic to schoolwide, with everyone pausing for the national moment of silence.

McConnell says it has been decades since a similar attack has taken place.

"I believe the last one was when a member of Congress was in South America in the late 70s," McConnell said.

While changes may be made, McConnell says it won't stand in the way of future forums.

"A strong Democracy depends on a free and robust exchange of ideas," McConnell said. "The actions of one deranged man this past weekend will not hinder that."

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