"It might be different now, not just because the horrific images of ... funerals for little children," he said on the House floor. "Let's treat gun violence like any public health crisis, which I would say, losing 30,000 lives a year, would qualify as a crisis."

Blumenauer said Rep. Carolyn McCarthyCarolyn McCarthyWhy Congress needs an openly atheist member, now Lobbying World Lobbying world MORE (D-N.Y.) would soon introduce a bill to reinstate the assault weapon ban, and Quigley agreed that high-capacity clips must be banned in order to reduce the effects of shootings like the one last week.

"We have looked on and done nothing. We in this body, we in this Congress, we in this government, have done nothing," he said.

"When you put a 30-round clip in an assault weapon, you're not protecting your home. You're not hunting deer. You are hunting people."

Rep. Bob Dold (R-Ill.), who lost his reelection bid in November, was one of the few Republicans who has spoken on the issue this week. He said he sees room for some restrictions on gun ownership.

"I do believe that there are reasonable restrictions that can be put in place," he said.