The visibly shaken president condemned the lack of gun control measures after at least 19 children and two adults were killed at an elementary school near San Antonio on Tuesday
Image: AFP via Getty Images)
The tragic mass shooting at a Texas school has prompted US President Joe Biden to urge his fellow Americans to pressure members of Congress to pass sane gun laws.
An 18-year-old gunman opened fire at an elementary school in the small town of Uvalde, west of San Antonio, killing at least 19 children and two adults before apparently being shot dead by police officers.
Following Tuesday’s horrific incident, Mr. Biden called for action but was not clear on what action he will take, nor did he call for a specific vote in Congress or politics.
“I hoped when I became president I wouldn’t have to do that again,” a visibly shaken Biden said, denouncing the deaths of “beautiful, innocent” second, third and fourth graders in “another massacre.”
Biden, whose own life was marred by a family tragedy, said parents in Texas “will never see their kid again, they’ll never jump into bed and cuddle with them again,” he said.
He urged Americans to fight the feeling of powerlessness if they saw another mass shooting.
“As a nation, we have to ask ourselves when in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby if we do in God’s name what we all know in our guts needs to be done,” Biden said, voice louder to a crescendo .
“I’m fed up. We have to act. And don’t tell me we can’t have any say in this slaughter.”
AFP via Getty Images)
Mass shootings in America are often followed by public protests and calls to action by Democratic politicians, but federal gun safety policies, such as background checks, common in other countries, have faltered in the face of strong Republican opposition.
The United States experienced 61 “active shooter” incidents last year, a sharp increase from the previous year and the highest number in over 20 years, the FBI reported this week.
The shooting poses for Biden, who is already facing the lowest approval ratings of his presidency, another crisis on top of 40 years of high inflation and the war in Ukraine.
A mass shooting at a New York City grocery store 10 days ago increased pressure on the Biden administration to fulfill its vow to crack down on gun violence, and the killings of elementary school children are likely to add to that pressure.
When he ran for the White House, Biden pledged to advance gun security measures and reduce the country’s tens of thousands of gun deaths each year.
Biden and his Democrats have failed to get the Senate votes needed to pass their bills.
In 1994, Biden, then a Delaware senator, ushered in a 10-year ban on assault weapons by a nearly 52-48 vote in the US Senate, which was not renewed in 2004.
“When we passed the ban on assault weapons, mass shootings went down. When the law expired, mass shootings tripled. The idea that an 18-year-old boy could walk into a gun store and buy two assault weapons is just wrong,” Biden said.
According to the Geneva-based research group Small Arms Survey, the United States is the most heavily armed society in the world. Small, rural, often Republican-run states where gun ownership is rife have disproportionate influence in the US Senate, where a supermajority of 60 votes is required to advance most legislation in the 100-seat chamber.
Biden was briefed on the shooting aboard Air Force One while returning from a trip to Asia, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Twitter.
He called Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to offer any help needed.
In a proclamation issued prior to his landing, Biden ordered the flags at the White House and U.S. federal and public buildings to be flown at half-mast until sundown on May 28.
Biden lost his first wife and young daughter in a car accident in 1972. A son Beau died of cancer in 2015 at the age of 46.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/texas-shooting-sick-tired-joe-27057409 Texas shooting: 'Sick and tired' Joe Biden calls for gun reform after killing 19 children