NORTH RICHLAND HILLS (CBS 11 NEWS)  – Texas Governor Rick Perry called the Sandy Hook school shooting an evil that came to visit, but he said he hopes the federal government will not have a knee jerk reaction to it. The Governor, who also acknowledged his strong support for the second amendment, made the comments during a meeting with the Northeast Tarrant Tea Party in North Richland Hills Monday.

Perry’s extended comments were his first, other than a statement from his office, since the shooting Friday. He hung his head, and paused between words for several seconds at a time, while talking about the parents who dropped their kids off at school, never to see them again. In the moment, he opened the door to supporting some type of action in the wake of the event.

“We have to do everything we can to make sure those types of evils are restricted the best that it can be,” the Governor said.

When an audience member asked about the current discussions related to gun control though, Perry cautioned against a quick response from federal officials.

“One of the things I hope we don’t see from our federal government is this knee jerk reaction from Washington D.C.,  when there is an event that occurs that they come in and think that they know the answer,” he said.

Perry also mentioned the need to look at mental health care, and school safety. Schools, he said should be allowed to make their own decisions on safety measures. He had been made aware of a district interested in making firearms accessible to staff members properly trained to use them. That drew loud applause from the several hundred people in the room.

Two other legislators, Rep. Giovanni Capriglione from House District 98, and Stephanie Klick from House District 91, briefly made comments on the incident. Both referenced people having the right to defend themselves and their families.

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