In light of the tragic shooting in Newtown, Conn. on Friday, several public figures have voiced their opinions about gun control, including at least one "pro-NRA" senator who is encouraging dialogue between gun-control advocates and the National Rifle Association.
A couple hundred people protested outside the NRA office in Washington, D.C., chanting, "Shame the NRA." The National Rifle Association has remained largely silent following the murder of 20 children and six adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, plus the alleged gunman's mother.
During a prayer service on Sunday in Newtown, President Obama said in a speech he would do everything in his power to "engage" in a dialogue with Americans, including mental health professionals and law enforcement.
Alex Conant, a spokesman for Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fl., said Rubio remains a "strong supporter of the Second Amendment right to safely and responsibly bear arms. But he has also always been open to measures that would keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill."
"The challenge with gun laws is that by definition criminals do not follow the law," Conant said.
Here are some other notable quotes from politicians and public figures about gun control since the massacre:
|"This awful massacre has changed where we go from here."|
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., is a pro-gun politician who famously shot a cap-and-trade bill with a rifle in his re-election ad in 2010. But beginning over the weekend, Manchin has tweeted and stated on MSNBC, "I'm a proud outdoorsman and hunter, but this doesn't make sense."
Manchin is the first of 31 current senators who have been given an "A" rating from the NRA to speak publicly about gun control since Friday.
"This awful massacre has changed where we go from here. Our conversation should move beyond dialogue," he tweeted on Monday.
|"Not a single gun was used at the Oklahoma bombing."|
On Friday, attorney and conservative commentator, Mark Levin, honored the victims of the massacre and said it was a disgrace for politicians who have called for sharper gun controls.
"Not a single gun was used at the Oklahoma bombing," he said. "If there is evil, we need to figure out how to deal with it as best we can; but we cannot eliminate it."
"These politicians who start to immediately, immediately — the bodies haven't even been removed from the school — to push their agenda are a disgrace," he said, according to audio on the Daily Caller.
|"I wish to God she had had an M-4 in her office..."|
Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, a gun rights advocate told "Fox News Sunday" that he had wished the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School had an assault rifle to defend the school.
"I wish to God she had had an M-4 in her office, locked up so when she heard gunfire, she pulls it out and she didn't have to lunge heroically with nothing in her hands," he said.
|"I think we could be at a tipping point...'"|
"I think we could be at a tipping point," Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., told CBS on Sunday, "a tipping point where we might actually get something done" on gun control.
On Friday, Schumer said on his Facebook page, "Horrified by senseless attack on innocent children; praying for the families of the students and the entire Newtown community."
In his interview on CBS, Schumer suggested banning assault weapons, restricting access to guns for the "mentally unstable," and limiting the size of clips to "maybe more than 10 bullets per clip."
"We need a new paradigm because both sides are in the corner and they could come to the middle," Schumer said. "Those of who are pro-gun control have to admit that there is a Second Amendment right to bear arms... once we establish that there is a constitutional right to bear arms we should have the right admit, and maybe they'll be more willing to admit, that no amendment is absolute after all."
|"But shouldn't we also quit marketing murder as a game?"|
Shortly after midnight on Monday, President Obama's former senior advisor tweeted, "In NFL post-game: an ad for shoot 'em up video game. All for curbing weapons of war. But shouldn't we also quit marketing murder as a game?"
Axelrod later clarified that his comment was in reference to a game called, "Hitman Absolution."
|"So there will be a bill. We've been working on it now for a year."|
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., announced on Sunday that she was introducing a weapons ban bill on the opening day of the new Congress, which is Jan. 3.
"I'm going to introduce in the Senate and the same bill will be introduced in the House, a bill to ban assault weapons," she said on "Meet the Press." "It will ban the sale, the transfer, the importation and the possession. Not retroactively but prospectively. And it will ban the same for big clips, drums or strips of more than 10 bullets. So there will be a bill. We've been working on it now for a year."
On Friday, Feinstein said in a statement, "I hope and trust that in the next session of Congress there will be sustained and thoughtful debate about America's gun culture and our responsibility to prevent more loss of life. But today we mourn for those who have been killed and the families that have been devastated."
|"...I will not be silent any longer."|
Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., announced on Friday that he was planning to co-sponsor legislation in the 113th Congress to ban assault weapons.
"I have been largely silent on the issue of gun violence over the past six years, and I am now as sorry for that as I am for what happened to the families who lost so much in this most recent, but sadly not isolated, tragedy," he said in a speech on Monday.
Yarmuth acknowledged that "no specific gun regulation may have prevented the deaths" in Conn." and that "Americans have the right to defend themselves and their property."
"I applaud President Obama's statement that we need to take meaningful action to prevent future suffering of the kind we experienced last week," Yarmuth said. "I want to be part of that action, and I promise my constituents, the families of the bereaved in Connecticut, my own family, and every American family, that I will not be silent any longer."
|"We need to do something...about the high-capacity magazines...used in this crime."|
"I'm hearing from the community, as well as my colleagues in law enforcement, we need to do something," said Blumenthal, D-Conn., said on ABC's "This Week." "I'm hearing from my colleagues in the Senate around the country, some in states like Wisconsin and Colorado, where there have been similar horrific, horrible tragedies."
The junior senator from Conn. said, "We need to do something, at the very least, perhaps, about the high-capacity magazines that were used in this crime."
|"...the stronger our gun control laws are, the fewer acts of violence...."|
Sen. Joe Lieberman, who retires at the end of this year, told "Fox News Sunday," "It's time for Democrats, Republicans and independents to say … the strongest conceivable gun control laws won't stop all acts of violence. But, also, to acknowledge that the stronger our gun control laws are, the fewer acts of violence including mass violence that will happen in our society."
Lieberman called for the creation of a presidential commission to analyze gun culture and laws and the mental health system.
|"Now is the time for a national policy on guns..."|
As co-chairs of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a bi-partisan coalition of over 700 mayors across the country, Boston's Mayor Thomas Menino and New York City's Mayor Michael Bloomberg have spoken out against automatic weapons.
"Now is the time for a national policy on guns that takes the loopholes out of the laws, the automatic weapons out of our neighborhoods and the tragedies like today out of our future," he said in a statement.
|"I demand a plan. The time for talk is over."|
On Monday afternoon, Mayor Bloomberg said he was asking Congress and the president to make gun trafficking a felony, have every gun buyer go through a background check, and ban high-capacity magazines.
Bloomberg acknowledged that laws would not be a "panacea" to gun violence but he encouraged further policies as he was surrounded by 34 people affected by gun violence, the number of people killed each day on average by guns in the country.
"Words alone cannot heal our nation. Only action can do that. Gun violence is a national epidemic," Bloomberg said. "I demand a plan. The time for talk is over."
|"And it's time as a country that we have an assault weapon ban."|
Chicago's Mayor Rahm Emanuel told a graduating class of the Chicago Police Department on Monday that the country should have an assault weapons ban.
"We can't just stand behind you and say we support our men and women in law enforcement community and then not have the laws on the books that help you do your job every day," he said. "And it's time as a city we have an assault weapon ban. And it's time as a state that we have an assault weapon ban. And it's time as a country that we have an assault weapon ban."
ABC News' Alyssa Newcomb, Matthew Jaffe, Jonathan Karl and Jake Tapper contributed to this report.