By Natasha Brown

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Pittsburgh synagogue shooting numbed the entire nation as the unspeakable tragedy has reignited the gun control debate.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the needs of its residents are top of mind for Democratic Sen. Bob Casey, who is heading back to Washington to represent the state. Casey was in the midst of a campaign tour in Pittsburgh when he was stopped in his tracks by news of a mass shooting at a synagogue in Squirrel Hill.

“We pulled the bus over on the side of the road,” said Casey.

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He found himself heading to the scene and wound up blocks away from the carnage, rocked to the core by the massive loss of life in a place of worship.

“Really just wanted to be present for that community on that day and it was a great coming together of one community but really across our commonwealth and our country,” said Casey.

Casey’s agenda includes fighting for tougher gun laws while respecting the Second Amendment rights.

“We have got to have a universal background check bill that should be in place, a limitation on the magazine so you don’t have one person able to shoot hundreds of bullets in a public place,” explained Casey.

Casey says job creation, middle class tax cuts, and health care are other priorities for the commonwealth. Crumbling infrastructure through the state is also a top priority.

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“We’ve got bridges, for example, all over southeastern Pennsylvania that should be repaired. We’ve got roads that need work in the rural parts of our state,” said Casey.

As it relates to gun control, Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey’s office says the Republican senator is also committed to improving the federal background check system, and has repeatedly introduced bipartisan legislation to do that.