Vice President Mike Pence visits SA for GOP fundraiser

Pence's visit is second to SA, both in wake of mass shootings

SAN ANTONIO – For the second time since November, Vice President Mike Pence visited San Antonio in the wake of a mass shooting. 

The vice president and second lady Karen Pence attended a memorial service in November for the Sutherland Springs church victims. 

Although Friday's visit was for a Republican fundraiser, it came two days after the school massacre in Parkland, Florida.

"Then, as now, hearts were broken. Then, as now, heroes were forged," Pence told Republican donors at the Westin Riverwalk luncheon.

After expressing his condolences to the families and friends of the victims, Pence said the White House will take "a fresh look at giving law enforcement and local authorities the tools they need to deal with those struggling with dangerous mental illness."

Gary Barnard, who heard the speech, said the vice president committed "to do something. It's a complex problem, but to do something."  

Miranda Martinez was among a group of UTSA students who were outside the hotel. 

"They're pushing against gun control," she said. "I feel like people should be a little more sensitive, considering what happened."

The other students said if they had a chance to talk to the vice president, they would ask about other issues important to them.

Regarding the Congressional impasse over Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, Matthew Perez said, "There's so much that can be done, so much that can be fixed, rather than immediately deporting people."

Ellen Shackleford said she would ask Pence about his stance on LGBT rights. 

"Gay and straight, everyone's beautiful and they're wonderful. It's just wrong, his views on that," she said.

Jeff Roepke, a visitor from Minnesota, said he would tell the vice president, "Keep doing what he's doing."

A woman leaving the luncheon gave the vice president a rave review. 

"Make America great again, and he was great," she said. 

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