Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said for the first time Tuesday that he believes Congress should examine whether to pursue a legislative response to mass shootings of the kind that took place at a Connecticut elementary school last week.

"The entire Congress is united in condemning the violence in Newtown and the need to enforce our laws. As we continue to learn the facts, Congress will examine whether there is an appropriate and constitutional response that would better protect our citizens."

However, McConnell did not specifically address the issue of gun control, merely indicating it will be for Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (R-Nev.), who controls the pace of legislation considered on the Senate floor, to determine whether a gun control item should receive consideration next year.

"It'll be up to the majority leader. He's indicated that's a subject he's likely to turn to next year," McConnell said at a weekly news conference. "Right now, people are properly thinking about the catastrophe in Connecticut last week, and the majority leader will have the opportunity to determine what matters will be scheduled."

McConnell brushed off additional questions on the issue.