A prominent gun-control advocate in Congress says she will renew her push for legislation restricting firearms purchases after 27 people, including 20 children, were killed Friday in a mass school shooting in Connecticut.

Rep. Carolyn McCarthyCarolyn McCarthyWhy Congress needs an openly atheist member, now Lobbying World Lobbying world MORE (D-N.Y.) on Friday night called for measures closing the so-called “gun-show loophole” and strengthening background check requirement.

McCarthy’s husband was killed in a mass shooting on the Long Island Rail Road in 1993, a tragedy that spurred her to enter politics. In recent years, she has become a familiar voice in the aftermath of massacres, but the legislation she has pushed has not advanced in Congress, where gun rights advocates prevail.

In an appearance on MSNBC, she said she was hoping this time would be different, citing President Obama’s emotional response to the shootings and his call for “meaningful action” to prevent them from happening in the future.

“I’m hoping,” McCarthy said. “Today when the president spoke, his tone seemed a little different. Maybe it’s because of my hope, because we’re going to need a president to lead us through this if we are going to do something.”

McCarthy said she had been “crying all day” after hearing about the killings in at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

“Where is this going to stop? What kind of mass murder do you want out there before we say enough is enough?” she asked.

The congresswoman said it was up to ordinary Americans to speak up against the influence of the National Rifle Association, which has successfully lobbied Congress against taking up gun control legislation for years.

“It’s only the American people [who] can say to their politicians, do something,” McCarthy said. “Instead of trying to gagging all of us and saying, ‘we can’t do anything about it, we should ignore it.’”