President Biden told the nation Tuesday night it was time to “put that pain into action” and change gun laws after a mass shooting at a Texas elementary school that killed at least 21 people.
“Why are we willing to live with this carnage?” he said hoarsely and visibly emotionally. “Where in God’s name is our backbone to have the courage to deal with it and stand up against it [gun] lobbies?”
The President was returning from a multi-day trip to Asia when it was revealed that an 18-year-old gunman opened fire at Robb Primary School in the small town of Uvalde before the teenager was shot dead.
At least 19 students and two adults were killed in the massacre, the deadliest shooting in Texas history and the worst such violence in the United States since 27 people were killed at an elementary school in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, in 2012.
“What struck me on that 17-hour flight was that this type of mass shooting doesn’t happen anywhere else in the world,” the President said during his speech. “Why is that? They have mental health issues. They have domestic disputes in other countries. They have people who are doomed. These types of mass shootings never happen with the frequency they do in America.”
Mr. Biden called on Congress to use “common sense” in passing gun laws, including renewing the now-expired assault weapons ban, which he helped legislate on.
“The idea that an 18-year-old boy can walk into a gun store and buy two assault weapons is just wrong,” he said. “What in God’s name would you need an offensive weapon for, other than to kill someone? They don’t run through the woods in kevlar vests, for heaven’s sake. It’s just sick.”
Mr. Biden’s calls for reform were echoed by Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy in Congress.
“What do we do?” Mr. Murphy asked his Senate peers. “Why are you here if not to solve an existential problem like this?”
Debate on whether further gun control measures in Texas and beyond are likely to continue.
Leading figures including Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz and former President Donald Trump are expected to speak at a meeting in Houston on Friday of the National Rifle Association, the powerful firearms coalition that has consistently opposed most of the proposed guns lately national arms reforms.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/biden-speech-uvalde-texas-shooting-b2086670.html ‘Where in God’s name is our backbone?’: Biden calls for reform after Texas elementary school massacre