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2016 Presidential Candidates Respond to California Shooting

Photo Credits: Mike Huckabee (L): ABC/Ida Mae Astute; Jeb Bush (C) ABC News; Hillary Clinton (R): Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for AOL (NEW YORK) -- Within hours of Wednesday's shooting at a California facility for the developmentally disabled, the 2016 presidential candidates responded on Twitter, offering prayers and in some cases decrying the acceptance of repeated mass shootings.

There are reports of up to 20 people shot and 12 people dead in a shooting in San Bernardino, California, according to various official sources. The San Bernardino Police Department tweeted late Wednesday morning to avoid the area, confirming an active shooter at the Inland Regional Center, a facility that cares for the people with developmental disabilities.

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley tweeted first, calling news of the shooing "horrifying," and calling for meaningful gun safety legislation.


Hillary Clinton also posted, saying that she would "refuse to accept this as normal." Her tweet was signed "-H," indicating that she sent the message herself.



Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee was the first Republican candidate to respond, offering his thoughts and prayers.



Jeb Bush, Lindsey Graham and Ben Carson offered similar thoughts, while Donald Trump, John Kasich and Ted Cruz took the opportunity to praise law enforcement responding to the shooting.









At a press conference later on Wednesday, Carson addressed the shooting, calling it a "hate crime."

"Look at what happened again. Another hate crime in San Bernardino today," Carson said. "Less than a week ago we had the shooting in Colorado and then look at all the things going on around the world...ISIS and groups like this. Just hate and evil."

"We need to be able to combat these things," Carson added, "or else we will melt into despair and that's not who we are."

Asked by ABC News to clarify what he meant, calling the shooting a hate crime, Carson said that "it's hard to imagine that you would shoot a bunch of people and not hate them, right?"

Bernie Sanders criticized how mass shootings "are becoming an almost-everyday occurrence," and that something must be done to stop it.



Rep. Pete Aguilar, who represents San Bernardino County and Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer of California also responded.





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