President Joe Biden will meet Sunday with residents of the Texas town of Yuvalde who are dealing with the tragedy of the largest school shooting incident in a decade in the United States.
The President and First Lady’s trip to Texas comes amid heated discussions about the inability of law enforcement agencies to act quickly.
Recall that during the incident, law enforcement officers allowed the shooter to remain in the classroom for nearly an hour. During that time, police officers waited in the hallway while children in the classroom panicked, calling 911 for help.
Investigators tried Saturday to determine why critical errors were made in the response to the shooting that killed 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School.
There have been national calls for the FBI to investigate the police.
The president’s agenda includes a visit to the memorial set up at the school and a meeting with the families of the victims.
“He needs to focus on the pain and grief of the families and the community. And understand that all of this is compounded by the fact that we still don’t know exactly what happened. The more we find out, the more it seems that children have been neglected,” said Democrat Karen Finney.
The visit to Texas is Biden’s third trip as president to the scene of a gun killing. Earlier this month, the president visited Buffalo, N.Y., after a supermarket shooting that killed 10 black citizens.
“Too much violence, too much fear, too much grief,” Biden said in a speech to University of Delaware graduates last Saturday. – I know we can’t outlaw tragedies, but we can make America safer. We can finally do what we have to do to protect the lives of people and our children.”
The Yuvald shooting has put gun control back at the top of the political agenda. Supporters of tougher gun laws argue that the latest bloodshed represents a tipping point.
“The president has a real opportunity. The country desperately needs a leader to stop the carnage over gun violence,” said Igor Volsky, executive director of Guns Down America, a movement calling for a significant reduction in the number of guns in the country.
He said Biden should immediately take the lead in addressing the country’s gun problem and tour the United States to put public pressure on Congress to reform the issue.
Vice President Kamala Harris on Saturday called for a ban on assault weapons, saying that after two mass shootings, such weapons are “weapons of war” that “belong in combat” and “not in civil society.”
White House staffers and close allies of the president say Biden is unlikely to go into specific policy proposals to avoid derailing sensitive Senate negotiations on gun control. He is also unlikely to immediately resort to executive action to address the issue.
Meanwhile, leading Republicans – such as Texas Senator Ted Cruz and former President Donald Trump – have rejected calls for new gun control measures. Instead, they suggested investing in mental health care or tightening security measures in schools.
Texas Republican Governor Gregg Abbott disagreed that recent gun laws passed in Texas, including a controversial measure eliminating concealed-carry licensing requirements, had “anything to do” with Tuesday’s bloodshed. He suggested that state lawmakers focus again on addressing mental illness.