As the community of Newtown, Connecticut mourns the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School where close to 30, mostly children are reported dead, Sen. Tom Carper, (D-Del.) shared his thoughts on the incident as well as his new position in homeland security to possibly address similar situations.

"As a parent, my boys are now 22 and 24 and out of school but any parent hears a story like this, the first thing you think is what if my kids were in that school. So my first reaction is as a parent our hearts go out to the families of those who may have lost someone. It's just an awful thing."

On Wednesday, Sen. Carper was nominated Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. The news came following the Democratic Steering Committee's approval of committee assignments for Democratic senators in the 113th Congress.

"As it turns out this is the committee that focuses on homeland security, securing our borders, terrorism, cyber terrorism and all that stuff. But also the committee has very broad jurisdiction over the entire federal government and very broad investigative powers," said Carper.

While the senator prepares for his new assignment, the news of U.N. ambassador Susan Rice withdrawing her name from consideration for secretary of state under President Obama's administration hits close to home to Carper.

"I was a little surprised! I had a good heart to heart with her. I think it's a noble thing for her to be willing to serve and maybe even more noble thing to say, no take my name out of consideration, the administration is beginning a new second term for the president, and it's the beginning of a new congress and we need to get off on a good foot," expressed Sen. Carper.

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) is believed to be the next leading candidate for Secretary of State, which is something Carper thinks is a perfect fit for Carey due to credentials and relationships with world leaders.

"He'll be a very good choice, my guess he'll be very high on that list and I am not," said a joking Carper who also added his thoughts on the fiscal cliff.

"We need to figure out how to avoid a fiscal cliff and for the president and speaker Boehner to come to an agreement on a broad bipartisan deal that saves 4 to 5 trillion dollars over the next 10 years. I think the last thing we need is a big fight over who's going to be the next secretary of state."

As far as Carper's new committee chair role, the assignment is subject to approval by the full Democratic caucus and full Senate when the 113th Congress convenes in January.

Other reactions to the Connecticut school shooting:

Governor Markell: 

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families affected by this unbelievable act of violence,” said Governor Markell. “I echo the sentiments of President Obama – as a country, we have been through this too many times. We offer our compassion and condolences to the community of Newtown, Connecticut, as we all struggle to process what has happened today and how we move forward to a place of peace.” 

In concurrence with the President’s order and as an expression of Delaware’s sympathy for the people affected by the tragedy in Connecticut, Governor Markell has ordered the American and Delaware flags at state buildings and facilities also be flown at half-staff until the end of the day on December 18."

Congressman John Carney:

“There is no way to explain the senseless act of violence perpetrated on young children and their teachers today in Connecticut. As a parent, I cannot imagine the pain the families of Newtown are feeling right now. Like Americans across the country, I am overwhelmed with sadness and grief. I offer my deepest condolences to the families affected by this horrific tragedy.”