Washington [US]: US President Joe Biden asked Americans to stand up to the gun lobby and urged the members of the Congress for an immediate gun control legislation as he highlighted that the ‘sensible gun laws’ need to be passed in the wake of the Texas school shooting in which 19 were killed including 18 children.
Authorities said an 18-year-old gunman opened fire at an elementary school in south Texas.
“When we passed the Assault Weapons Ban (in 1994), mass shootings went down. When the law expired [in 2004], mass shootings tripled. The idea that an 18-year-old kid can walk into a gun store and buy assault weapons, it’s just wrong,” US President said hours after the deadliest school shooting in Texas.
Suggesting to reinstate the assault weapons ban and other “common-sense gun laws, Biden said, “We have to act,” he said, pointing to Congress members, “It’s time for those who have struck or delayed or blocked the common-sense gun laws. We need to let you know that we will not forget.”
Addressing the presser, Biden hoped that he would not have to do this again when he became the president.
Biden drew on his own experience with grief, having lost his first wife and young daughter in a car accident in 1972 and an adult son to cancer in 2015.
“To lose a child is like having a piece of your soul ripped away,” he said, adding, “There’s a hollowness in your chest you feel like you’re being sucked into it … you’re never quite the same.”
US President asked the nation to pray for them and “give the parents and siblings strength in the darkness they feel right now as a nation.”
US President mentioned the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, and said, “Since then there have been over 900 incidents of gun fires reported on school grounds.”
He spoke of the shooting in Buffalo ten days ago and lamented that an 18-year-old was able to purchase a gun and commit such heinous crimes in both incidents.
Earlier in the day, Biden was briefed about the shooting aboard Air Force One as he returned from a trip to Asia, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Twitter. He called Texas Governor Greg Abbott to offer any assistance needed.
“His prayers are with the families impacted by this awful event,” Jean-Pierre said.
In a statement issued before he landed, Biden ordered the White House flags and US federal and public buildings to be flown at half-mast until Saturday.
As a mark of respect for the victims killed in the Texas school shooting, US President Joe Biden ordered on Tuesday that the flags will fly at half-mast at the White House and other public places until Saturday.
“I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, May 28, 2022,” President Joe Biden said in a press release.
According to the release, US President said that the flag would be flown at half-mast for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.
Upon the mass shooting in Texas, Governor Greg Abbott released a statement which stated that people across Texas are grieving for the victims of this senseless crime and the community of Uvalde.
“Cecilia (Abbott’s wife) and I mourn this horrific loss and we urge all Texans to come together to show our unwavering support to all who are suffering. We thank the courageous first responders who worked to finally secure Robb Elementary School,” the statement reads.
Abbott further said that he had instructed the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Rangers to fully investigate this crime with local law enforcement.
“The Texas Division of Emergency Management is charged with providing local officials with all resources necessary to respond to this tragedy as the State of Texas works to ensure the community has what it needs to heal,” the statement added.
In an emotional address following the school shooting incident in Texas, the US Vice President Kamala Harris condemned the attack on Wednesday while calling for “action and taking a stand”.
“Enough is enough. As a nation, we have to have the courage to take action and have the courage to take a stand,” she said, calling the attack a ‘heartbreaking tragedy’.
Addressing a room full of American leaders, she urged everyone to understand the nexus between what makes for reasonable and sensible public policy to ensure something like this never happens again.
Not disclosing the details of the incident, she condoled the deceased and expressed sympathy for the people of Uvalde, saying, “We stand with you and grieve with you.”
Meanwhile, First Lady Jill Biden also responded to the incident, saying, “Lord, enough.” “Stunned. Angry. Heartbroken,” she stated in her tweet.
CNN reported that the death toll has reached 21, including 19 children and two adults, in the shooting incident at a Texas elementary school.
This is the deadliest attack since the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed, according to CNN.