Conn. Dem hears echo of Sandy Hook shooting in Pakistan attack

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) is drawing a direct comparison between the attack on a school in Pakistan on Tuesday and the mass shooting at an elementary school Newtown, Conn., roughly two years ago.

“When I first heard about this attack in Pakistan, two years after a horrendous, horrific attack in Newtown, my heart went out to the families of those children,” he said on MSNBC’s “The Rundown with Jose Diaz-Balart.”

Taliban gunmen stormed the Army Public School in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, leaving at least 145 people dead, according to multiple reports.

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President Obama strongly condemned the attack, labeling it “heinous” and saying the Taliban had “shown their depravity” by targeting students and teachers.

Blumenthal, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Pakistan “cannot tolerate or accommodate terrorists.”

Blumenthal recalled visiting Sandy Hook Elementary School and seeing “first-hand the grief and pain and shock of that unspeakable tragedy." At Sandy Hook, 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed 20 school children as well as six members of the school’s staff.

“This kind of horror is a parent's worst nightmare, this kind of terrorist attack by gunmen who are acting in retaliation against innocent children simply because of the pursuit of them by the Pakistan government,” Blumenthal said.

He added that the United States must also “continue our fight” against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and that he would back further funding to fight the terror group, on the condition that the president seeks an authorization for the use of military force.

“He must seek authorization,” Blumenthal said. “There has to be a new authorization for him to proceed and I will support funding only if the Congress is given that option to go forward. And I hope that that will happen.”

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved an ISIS authorization last week, but it is not expected to be voted on by the full chamber before lawmakers adjourn for the year.