Joe Biden addressed the nation from the White House in the wake of the shooting at Robb Elementary School in south Texas that killed at least 20 people, including 18 children. Biden began his remarks by saying, “I hoped that when I became president I wouldn’t have to face this again.”
Biden called the Uvalde shooting “another massacre” in the United States.
The president stressed that innocent second-, third- and fourth-grade children died at the hands of the perpetrator, and several dozen other young children were badly traumatized by witnessing the killing of their friends.
The president said: “Losing a child is like ripping off a part of your soul.” He said the feeling is “suffocating.”
The president urged the nation to pray for the victims and “stand up to the gun lobby” after tonight’s events.
“So, tonight, I ask the whole nation to pray for them to give their parents and their brothers and sisters strength in the darkness that they are feeling right now. As a nation, we must ask, when in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby? When, in the name of all that is holy, are we going to do what we all know needs to be done?” the president said.
He mentioned that the alleged child killer at age 18 was able to legally purchase two rapid-fire rifles.
According to CNN, President Biden insisted on addressing the nation tonight in the wake of the horrific shooting in Texas, his aides said.
Immediately after receiving news of tonight’s shooting, the president referred to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and recalled the consequences of Congress then failing to pass legislation to tighten gun control.
Biden, who was vice president of the United States at the time of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012, was responsible in the Obama administration for implementing the legislation.
According to the White House, immediately after the president was informed of the events in Texas, Joe Biden immediately called Texas Governor Greg Abbott to offer the state any assistance needed after the “horrific shooting.”
Biden was informed of the shooting aboard the president’s plane as the head of state was returning to Washington from a trip to Asia, White House press secretary Karin Jean-Pierre tweeted.
In a presidential proclamation issued before the plane landed, Biden ordered flags at the White House and over U.S. federal and public buildings to be lowered in memory of the victims of the shooting until sunset on May 28.
When Joe Biden ran for president, he promised to take steps to ensure safety related to the availability of firearms and reduce the nation’s firearms death toll by tens of thousands of victims a year. But Democratic lawmakers failed to win enough votes in Congress to introduce a background check requirement or pass other proposed Democratic Party bills.
According to the Geneva-based research group Small Arms Survey, the United States is the most armed society in the world. Small farm states, where gun ownership is widespread, have disproportionate influence over the Senate, where a qualified majority of 60 votes is needed to pass most legislation in the 100-seat chamber.