LAREDO, Texas (AP) - Sen. John McCain says the shooting rampage at Virginia Tech does not change his view that the Constitution guarantees everyone the right to carry a weapon.
"We have to look at what happened here, but it doesn't change my views on the Second Amendment, except to make sure that these kinds of weapons don't fall into the hands of bad people," McCain said Monday in response to a question.
The Arizona Republican, who was campaigning in this Texas-Mexico border city, said he didn't know the details of the attacks at Virginia Tech.
"I do believe in the constitutional right that everyone has, in the Second Amendment to the Constitution, to carry a weapon," he said. "Obviously we have to keep guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens."
McCain and other presidential hopefuls issued statements expressing shock and grief over the attacks. "As a parent, I am filled with sorrow for the mothers and fathers and loved ones struggling with the sudden, unbearable news of a lost son or daughter, friend or family member," read a statement by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y.
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a Republican, called it a "day of national tragedy, when we lost some of our finest to a senseless act." Giuliani canceled all his campaign events for Tuesday. Democratic candidate John Edwards said in a statement: "We are simply heartbroken by the deaths and injuries suffered at Virginia Tech. We know what an unspeakable, life-changing moment this is for these families and how, in this moment, it is hard to feel anything but overwhelming grief, much less the love and support around you. But the love and support is there."
Republican candidate Mitt Romney said: "The entire nation grieves for the victims of this terrible tragedy that took place today on the campus of Virginia Tech. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and the entire Virginia Tech community. Our full support is behind the law enforcement officials who are involved with stabilizing the situation and conducting an investigation."
Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., said the nation is mourning the dead and praying for their families and for the wounded. "Today, we are a grieving and shocked nation. Violence has once again taken too many young people from this world," Obama said.
"Today's events at Virginia Tech mark a very sad day in American history," said Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn. "I am deeply saddened by this unnecessary loss of life, but I believe our nation will find the strength to support those touched by this tragedy."