Boxer: 'My heart goes out' to families of Calif. shooting victims

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) on Saturday offered her condolences to the families affected by a mass shooting in Southern California on Friday.

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Authorities say a gunman in Santa Monica, Calif., killed four people in an attack throughout the city before being shot and killed by law enforcement on the Santa Monica College campus. Two of the victims, the alleged gunman's father and brother, were found in a burning house.

“My heart goes out to the families of the victims of these tragic shootings in Santa Monica, and I am praying for the recovery of those who were injured,” Boxer said in a statement.

Witnesses described the man and his weaponry to the Los Angeles Times: He dressed in all black, carried a semiautomatic rifle and wore an ammunition belt around his waist.

“He looked like a SWAT officer,” one woman told the paper.

Boxer's brief statement avoided the politics surrounding gun control.

During the Senate’s gun control debate, Boxer was a proponent of stronger gun laws, including mandatory background checks and stronger penalties for straw sales. Her bill, the Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act, did not include a semiautomatic weapons ban.

“There are 31,000 reasons to pass sensible gun legislation,” Boxer told her colleagues in April. “That’s how many people die a year at the hands of a gun.”

In a speech on the Senate floor two weeks later, she called reforms “common sense.”

“We will never be able to stand here and say we’ve solved every problem — you can’t — but you have to be able to know that you did everything you could to reduce these tragedies,” Boxer said. “We need to do common sense things around here. … The slaughter of innocents must stop.”

Once the Senate voted down background check amendments in the legislation in late April, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) tabled the gun control debate altogether.

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