Video Producer: Mayank Chawla
Video Editor: Rajbir Singh
A visibly distraught United States President Joe Biden, in emergency address on Tuesday, 24 May, mourned the victims of the Texas school massacre, pushing for effective gun laws to abate the violence in the United States.
Biden began his address by saying, "To lose a child is like having a piece of your soul ripped away. There's a hollowness in your chest; you feel like you're being sucked into it and never going to be able to get out, suffocating."
Resuming his speech, he added,
"As a nation, we have to ask, when in God's name are we going to stand up to gun lobbying? When in God's name will we do what we all know in our gut that needs to be done?"Joe Biden
He stressed further that the idea that an 18-year-old kid can walk into a gun store and buy two assault weapons is just wrong.
Earlier in the day, in one of the deadliest grade school shootings in a decade, an 18-year-old gunman killed at least 19 students and three adults in an elementary school in Texas.
The White House said that flags will be flown at half-staff in mourning for the victims.
'Mass Shootings Tripled When Assault Weapons Ban Law Expired': Biden
On Wednesday, 25 May, President Biden took to social media and said,
"We know common sense gun laws can’t and won’t prevent every tragedy. But we know they work and have a 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 can walk into a store and buy assault weapons is just wrong. What in God’s name do you need an assault weapon for except to kill someone?" he added.
'Enough Is Enough': Vice President Kamala Harris, Texas Governor React
Vice President Kamala Harris also issued a statement on the tragedy, saying that "enough is enough."
"Our hearts keep getting broken...We have to have the courage to take action," the VP added.
Meanwhile, Texas Governor Greg Abbott took to Twitter to say that he has instructed law enforcement authorities to probe the 'senseless crime.'
Replying to Abbott's tweet, Podcast host Brian Tyler Cohen asked the governor if he was 'embarrassed.' The retort referred to an earlier post made by the Texan governor, which advocated for sales of assault weapons.
Beto O Rourke, the democratic candidate in the upcoming Texas gubernatorial election, too took to Twitter to say:
'Horrific,' 'Failure of Leadership': Sanders, AOC Express Anguish
Democratic leaders Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez also took to social media to push for common sense gun laws.
"The horrific rampage in TX once again makes clear that there are some very sick people in this country with guns in their hands who should not have them. Congress may not be able to end this problem, but we must at least pass commonsense gun reforms to finally protect the public," Sanders wrote on Twitter.
Ocasio-Cortez wrote, "Accountability isn’t partisan. This was an utter failure of leadership." The senator also responded to Ted Cruz, who expressed his condolences, saying,
"Aren’t you slated to headline a speaking gig for the NRA in three days - in Houston, no less? You can do more than pray. Faith without works is dead."
US Senator Chris Murphy, who earlier represented the Connecticut congressional district where a shooter had killed 26 students at Sandy Hooks Elementary school in 2012, said, "There's just not a coincidence that we're the high-income-world's deadliest nation and we have the loosest gun laws. You know, guns flow in this country like water," Reuters reported.
"You cannot explain this through a prism of mental illness because we're not an outlier on mental illness. We're an outlier when it comes to access to firearms and the ability of criminals and very sick people to get their arms on firearms," he added.
UN Secretary General, Stephen King, Steve Kerr Weigh In
Stéphane Dujarric, the spokesperson for the United Nations Secretary-General, wrote, "The Secretary-General is deeply shocked and saddened by the heinous mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. It is particularly heart-wrenching that most of the victims are children."
He added that the UN leader is extending condolences to the families and the community of all victims.
Author Stephen King also advocated for voting for gun control, saying "2-day Twitter outrage doesn’t cut it. When you step into the voting booth this fall, VOTE GUN CONTROL."
In a heart-wrenching address to the press after, coach for the US basketball team Golden State Warriors asked, "When are we going to do something? … I'm so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devastated families that are out there. I'm so tired. Excuse me. I'm sorry. I'm tired of moments of silence. Enough."