Vice President Kamala Harris laid flowers at the memorials to the 11 fatal victims in the Monterey Park shooting in California Wednesday night.
ABC News reports she paused briefly at each of the 11 memorials in front of the Star Ballroom Dance Studio.
“We will always, as a compassionate nation, mourn for the loss and pray for those who survive in their recovery. But we must also require that leaders of nations who have the ability and the power and the responsibility to do something, that they act,” Harris said, speaking to the need for gun reform.
The Vice President plans to meet with the families and the first responders during her visit back to her home state, according to CBS.
She said it was time for Congress to act.
“Can they do something? Yes. Should they do something? Yes. Will they do something? That is where we must all speak up and speak to our elected representatives… in the interest of the safety, the security and the well-being of people like those whose lives were ended here and people around our country. They can.”
While all the victims in the Monterey Park shootings were Asian, the tragedy has touched the entire community.
“We’re strong here in Monterey Park. We’re strong here and we’re going to go forward,” Gloria Gonzalez said at a recent vigil to USA Today. “I think it’s going to make the community and all the different nationalities that are here mend together.”
Melissa Michelson of nearby Alhambra, CA said the time for action is now.
“My community is more upset and angry at what happened here,” Michelson said. “Everybody else has just been talking about thoughts and prayers, and that’s good for a short minute, and then it’s time to actually do something.”
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