A distraught and angry President Joe Biden called for new restrictions on firearms, after A gunman murdered 18 children at a Texas elementary school. “We have to act,” Biden told the nation on Tuesday afternoon, after years of failing to pass new laws on the matter.
“When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?” Biden said at the White House, shortly after returning from a five-day trip to Asia marred by tragedy.
With first lady Jill Biden standing beside him in the Roosevelt Room, the president said, “It’s time we put this pain into action.”
At least 18 students were killed in Texas, according to a state senator who said he was tipped off by police. A teacher died, as did the attacker.
“Losing a child is like having a piece of your soul ripped out,” Biden said. “There is an emptiness in your chest. You feel like you’re being sucked in and you’ll never be able to get out.”
Two days before Biden left for the trip, he met with the families of the victims, after a hate-motivated shooter killed 10 black people in a grocery store in Buffalo, New York.
Back-to-back tragedies served as sobering reminders of the frequency and brutality of an American Pandemic of mass gun violence.
“These kinds of mass shootings rarely happen anywhere else in the world,” Biden said. “Why?”.
It is unclear whether the latest tragedy will change the political dynamic around guns after so many others, including the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut that killed 26, including 20 children, they failed to do so.
In a reminder of the split issue, Biden’s call for gun control Tuesday was booed at a campaign event in Georgia hosted by Herschel Walker, a Republican running for the United States Senate.
Vice President Kamala Harris has previously said that people often say at times like this, “Our hearts are breaking, but our hearts are still breaking … and our broken hearts are nothing compared to the broken hearts of those families.”
“We have to have the courage to take action … to ensure that something like this never happens again,” he said.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden was briefed on the shooting aboard Air Force One.
Shortly before landing in Washington, he spoke with Texas Governor Greg Abbott from Air Force One “to offer him any assistance he needs in the wake of the horrific shooting in Uvalde, TX,” White House Communications Director Kate tweeted. Bedingfield.
Biden ordered American flags to fly at half-staff until sunset Saturday in honor of the victims in Texas.