Kelly Ripa delivers impassioned speech in response to Florida school shooting

Kelly Ripa delivered an impassioned speech on "Live With Kelly and Ryan" on Thursday morning in response to the mass shooting at a school in Florida that left 17 people dead.

As co-host Ryan Seacrest listened intently, Ripa sounded off on the increasing amount of gun violence in the United States -- specifically at schools -- and revealed that her children were scared to go to school on Thursday morning after hearing about the shooting.

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"The news coming out of Florida yesterday? Devastating," Ripa began. "Don't know how many times this is going to happen, but I don't know how many times it has to happen before a school shooting -- a mass shooting -- of this caliber before somebody does something, before people really get into it."

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"People are gonna say, 'Oh, you're a talk show host, shut up,'" she went on. "In this moment, I am a mom of three kids that go to school, and I had to talk my kids off a ledge this morning because they were afraid to go to school."

That reveal prompted Seacrest to ask his co-host what she said to her kids to reassure them that everything was going to be okay.

"I said to my kids, 'Follow the instructions of the school, you have these drills in place.' Unfortunately, my kids have grown up having these drills in place where they ... You know, they don't just have fire drills anymore! They have active shooter drills, which is so tragic to me. It's such a tragic thing."

"And the fact that our country has such unparalleled mass shooter violence is staggering to me, so somebody needs to have a conversation that is larger than in this moment," she went on. "And, again, I just say it as a concerned citizen and parent and human being that something needs to be changed. There needs to be a bigger, better dialogue, because we are failing in this area."

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SEE ALSO: Stars react to horrific Florida school shooting

"And offering thoughts and prayers are not enough anymore," Ripa added. "I can't imagine the horror of the parents of that school or any school when this happens or any place where this happens. Because we are creatures of empathy, we put ourselves in each other's shoes, right? 'How would I feel?'"

She went on to explain that she told her kids that, because of the drills they've done in school, they would know how to act in the off chance that an active shooter ever appeared at their schools. But she also added that reassuring them can feel like a lie when, really, she isn't so sure it wouldn't happen.

"You don't want to mislead your kids and say, 'This is never going to happen,'" she said emotionally. "You hope and pray that it doesn't happen, but when they are inundated with this images every day, day after day, all the time, you start to feel like a liar. I don't like feeling that way."

Kelly Ripa shares son Michael, 20, daughter Lola, 16, and son Joaquin, 14, with husband Mark Consuelos, who she's been married to since 1996.

RELATED: See photos of Kelly Ripa with her daughter, Lola:

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