Senate opens week with moment of silence for victims in Colorado

The Senate took a moment of silence to honor the victims of the Colorado shootings Monday. 

The upper chamber began its work week on a somber note, with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) calling the movie theater shooting “horrific.”

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Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who also expressed condolences for the families and victims of the shootings, refrained from the political attacks typical of their floor gamesmanship. 

“This afternoon the Senate pauses to remember those killed in horrific killings,” Reid said. “How can you make sense of something that is so senseless?”

“We in the Senate pledge our support to people of Colorado as they grieve and recover from this horrible tragedy,” Reid said on the floor.

McConnell read the names of all 12 of the people killed.

“As the scripture says, ‘rain falls on the just and unjust,’” McConnell said. “So we accept that there are just some things we can’t explain — evil is one of them.”

Accused shooter James Holmes made his first court appearance on Monday. He appeared with hair dyed a redding-orange, and his attention appeared to drift as lawyers dicsussed the allegations against him.

Twelve people were killed and more than 50 were wounded when a gunman stormed into a theater in Aurora, Colorado during a midnight showing of the latest Batman film.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) acknowledged that debate over gun control legislation will likely follow the event.

"There are going to be a lot of discussions and debates about whether we need to change our laws or policies," Durbin said. "I don’t know where we’ll turn next to protect people from assault weapons … but today we simply offer condolences."

On the other side of the Capitol, Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) spoke on the House floor briefly to mark the tragedy and thank people for the aid and support they have given.

"I'd like to thank President Obama for joining the families impacted in mourning," Polis said. "I'd like to thank all of those in Colorado and across the country who sent their thoughts, their care, their resources to all of us in Colorado in a time of need."

— This story was updated at 4:20 p.m. to add remarks from Durbin.