12/14/2012 03:55 pm ET

Andrea Mitchell On Connecticut Elementary School Shooting: Gun Violence Is 'Epidemic' (VIDEO)

Andrea Mitchell lamented what she described as the country's failure to seriously discuss gun control, as news of the tragic shooting at a Connecticut elementary school unfolded on Friday.

A gunman opened fire on Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday morning. The police have reported 27 deaths — including 18 children — and additional people wounded, according to the Associated Press.

Mitchell covered the story on MSNBC as it continued to develop on Friday afternoon. The MSNBC host turned to the subject of gun control. She said the debate was not about taking people's Second Amendment rights, but rather implementing "reasonable" guidelines on background checks, automatic guns and large ammunition clips.

She cited the shootings in Littleton, CO, Columbine and Aurora, CO as evidence of the need for stricter controls, and asked when the country would take on the "epidemic" of gun violence.

"Gun violence has been epidemic in this country going back for decades and we go through temporary periods — after the Reagan assassination attempt and after, you know, several other of these incidents — where we have an assault weapons ban, and it is permitted to expire," Mitchell said.



Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting