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President Joe Biden will deliver a primetime speech on Tuesday evening, hours after a gunman killed 14 students and a teacher at an elementary school in Uvalade, Texas.
Biden is scheduled to speak from the White House at 8:15 p.m. He instructed half of the White House staff and all public buildings and grounds to fly the U.S. flag.
According to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, the suspected shooter was fatally wounded in a law enforcement response to the attack on Rob Elementary School, about 83 miles west of San Antonio.
Kate Beddingfield, the White House communications director, said in a tweet that Biden had spoken to Abbott and offered “any and all assistance” to respond to the shooting.
Elementary school shooting evokes horrific memories of the 2012 genocide at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. This is the second mass shooting to shake the country in 10 days after an attack on a grocery store in Buffalo, New York.
Elected officials have expressed sympathy for those killed in the shooting. Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online.
Vice President Kamala Harris has called for political action.
“I would usually say in a moment like this – we would all say naturally – that our hearts are broken. But our heat continues to break,” he said. “As a nation, we must have the courage to act and understand the relationship between what constitutes rational and intelligent public policy to ensure that nothing like this happens again.”
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Con, called on his colleagues in a speech on the Senate floor to take meaningful action to combat gun violence.
“Why do you spend all this time running for the United States Senate, why do you go through all the hassle of getting this job, putting yourself in a position of authority if your answer is to increase the slaughter, as our kids run for their lives. Don’t you? ” Asked Murphy, who represented the U.S. House district in 2012 where a gunman, Sandy Hook, killed 26 people, including 20 children.
“What are we doing? Why are you here if you can’t solve a non-existent problem like this?” He added.
“I’m here to beg on this floor, literally on my hands and knees, begging my colleagues,” Murphy said. “Find a way forward here. Work with us to find a way to pass legislation that makes it less likely.”
The American flag flies with half the staff at the White House in Washington, DC.
Drew Anger | Getty Images
On his way out of the Senate floor, Murphy scoffed at the idea that Republican lawmakers regularly raised the issue after the mass shootings that the problem was mental illness, not the widespread proliferation of firearms in America.
Murphy told reporters, “We have mass shooting after mass shooting and, you know, let me talk nonsense about mental illness.” “We have no more mental illness than any other country in the world.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif, called the shots “cold-blooded genocide.”
“For a very long time, some members of Congress have spoken out against these shootings while opposing all life-saving efforts,” Pelosi said in a statement. “It’s time for all in Congress to pay attention to the will of the American people and to join in the enactment of House-passed bipartisan, common sense, life-saving legislation.”
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, says reforming gun law is not the solution he calls “another evil and genocidal act.”
“Of course when this kind of murder happens, you see politicians trying to politicize it,” Cruz said. “You see Democrats and a lot of people in the media whose immediate solution is to try to limit the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens. It doesn’t work. It doesn’t work.”
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