President Joe Biden addressed the nation on Tuesday night after at least 19 children and 2 teachers were murdered by a gunman in a school shooting in Texas.
Biden began his speech by saying, “Good evening, my fellow Americans. I had hoped when I became President, I would not have to do this again. Another massacre, Uvalde, Texas, an Elementary school. Beautiful, innocent second, third, fourth graders, and how many scores of little children who witnessed what happened; see their friends die as if they’re on a battlefield, for God’s sake.”
He then spoke on the pain of the parents of the slain children. “It’s a feeling shared by the siblings and the grandparents and the family members and the community that’s left behind. Scripture says, and Jill and I have talked about this in different context — in other context — the Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit,” he said.
Continuing, he added, “So many crushed spirits. So tonight, I ask the nation to pray for them, and give the parents and siblings the strength in the darkness they feel right now As a nation, we have to ask, when in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby? When in God’s name we do what we all know in our gut needs to be done?”
“It’s been 3,448 days, 10 years since I stood up at a high school in Connecticut — a grade school in Connecticut where another gunman massacred 26 people, including 20 first graders at Sandy Hook Elementary School,” Biden said. “Since then, there have been over 900 incidents of gunfire as reported on school grounds. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida; Santa Fe High School in Texas; Oxford High School in Michigan.”
“The list goes on and on, and the list grows when they include mass shootings at places like movie theaters, houses of worship; as we saw just ten days ago at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York. I am sick and tired of it. We have to act. And don’t tell me we can’t have an impact on this carnage. I spent my career as a Senator and a Vice President working to pass common-sense gun laws. We can’t and won’t prevent every tragedy, but we know they work and have positive impact.
When we passed the assault weapons ban, mass shootings went down When the law expired, mass shootings tripled. The idea that an 18-year-old kid can walk into a gun store and buy two assault weapons, it’s just wrong. What in God’s name do you need an assault weapon for except to kill someone? Deer aren’t running through the forest with Kevlar vests on, for God’s sake.”
Concluding his speech, Biden said, “It’s just sick. And the gun manufacturers have spent two decades aggressively marketing assault weapons which make them the most and largest profit. For God’s sake, we have to have the courage to stand up to the industry. Here’s what else I know; most Americans support common-sense laws — common-sense gun laws.”
According to authorities, the 18-year-old gunman who carried out the massacre was killed by police officers.
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. Biden called Texas Governor Greg Abbott to offer any assistance needed. He also ordered the flags at the White House and at U.S. federal and public buildings to be flown at half-staff until sunset on May 28.
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