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Posted at 04:00 PM ET, 07/23/2012

Colorado shootings prompts moment of silence on Senate floor


Greg Zanis, left, prayed Sunday with Aurora, Colo., Mayor Steve Hogan, at the 12 crosses Zanis made for a makeshift memorial to the victims of Friday’s mass shooting at a movie theater. (Chip Somodevilla - GETTY IMAGES)
Senators marked a moment of silence Monday for the victims of Friday’s shooting in Aurora, Colo., that left 12 people dead and dozens injured.

After the pause on the Senate floor, Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) briefly honored the victims, calling out by name Jonathan Blunk, a 26-year old Navy veteran who grew up in Reno, Nev.

“My heart goes out to his loved ones, and to all the victims and their families, as they struggle to make sense of the senseless,” Reid said. “We may never know the motivations behind this terrible crime, or understand why anyone would target so many innocent people.”

Moments later, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also chose to focus on the victims and the response by local, state and federal officials.

“As is almost always the case in moments like this, the horror has been tempered somewhat by the acts of heroism and self-sacrifice that took place in the midst of the violence,” McConnell said. “I read one report that said three different young men sacrificed their own lives in protecting the young women they were with.”

McConnell also singled out President Obama and Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) and local religious leaders “for the time and effort they’ve put into consoling the families of the victims and the broader community.”

He then read out the names of each of the people killed in the shootings: Veronica Moser-Sullivan, Gordon Cowden, Matthew McQuinn, Alex Sullivan, Micayla Medek, John Larimer, Jesse Childress, Alexander Boik, Jonathan Blunk, Rebecca Ann Wingo, Alexander Teves, Jessica Ghawi.

“We, too, will remember,” he said.

Top aides to House and Senate leaders have said there are no plans to pass any resolutions or other legislation marking the deaths of the victims. Nor are there any immediate plans to take up gun-control legislation, despite a push over the weekend by gun-control advocates to reinstate the federal assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004.

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