U.S. Congressman Raul Gríjalva, a Democrat from Tucson, says we can no longer allow ourselves to be "cowed" by absolutism when it comes to gun rights.

Speaking in response to Friday's massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, Gríjalva said in a statement today that the time has long passed for improving gun laws:

"If pro-gun activists will not negotiate in good faith, it is time for the country to move on without them. Sitting on our hands and hoping for the best is no longer an option.

"Absolutism in defense of gun violence is no virtue, and we have been cowed by absolutists for too long. When we accept eight or nine thousand gun murders a year as the price of what some people think of as freedom, we have gone too far.

"It takes necessary courage in these moments to admit that our laws are part of the problem and that no amount of emotional healing is going to prevent the next tragedy. The scandalous availability of highly lethal weapons to even the least qualified, least competent and most dangerous among us has gone on long enough."

The NRA's Twitter account has been silent since the mass shooting.