President Joe Biden is calling for common sense gun control legislation after the shooting at an elementary school in Texas left nineteen children and two adults dead.
An 18-year-old shooter opened fire at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, which is the hometown of actor Matthew McConaughey, who also gave his own poignant address asking for stricter gun control measures.
Joe Biden Says That It Is ‘Time To Act’ In Fiery Speech
In his speech, a portion of which was transcribed by Deadline, Biden called out gun manufacturers and said it was a “time to act.”
“As a nation, we have to ask, ‘When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?’” he asked. “When in God’s name do we do what we all know in our gut needs to be done?”
He did not detail specific steps that his administration might take to improve gun control in the country, but he did seem to narrow his focus down to limiting access to assault weapons.
“If an 18-year-old can walk into a gun store and buy two assault weapons, it’s just wrong,” Biden was quoted saying. “What in God’s name do you need an assault weapon for except to kill someone? Deer aren’t running through the forests with kevlar vests on, for God’s sake. It’s just sick.”
“Why do we keep letting this happen?” Biden asked. “Where in God’s name is our backbone? To the courage to deal with it and stand up to the lobbyists. It’s time to turn this pain into action.”
‘It’s Time To Turn This Pain Into Action’
Deadline noted that Biden had led a task force on gun violence following the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Biden was vice-president of Barack Obama at the time. At the Sandy Hook shooting, twenty students and six adults were shot and killed. However, gun control measures failed to pass the Republican-controlled Senate.
On Tuesday, Biden said that there were over 900 incidents of gunfire reported on school grounds.
“I am sick and tired of it,” Biden said. “We have to act. And don’t tell me we can’t have an impact on this carnage.”
Biden talked about the assault weapons ban that was passed in the 1990s, which saw a decrease in mass shootings. However, he said, when the law expired, they tripled. “The gun manufacturers have spent two decades aggressively marketing assault weapons, which make them the most and largest profit,” Biden said. “For God’s sake, we have to have the courage to stand up to the industry.”
Biden said that most Americans support “common sense gun laws,” which include stronger background checks on gun sales.
“It’s time for those who obstruct or delay or block the common sense gun laws, we need to let you know that we will not forget,” he continued. “We can do so much more. We have to do more.”
When Biden first started his speech, he admitted, “There’s a lot we don’t know yet. There’s a lot we do know. There’s a lot of parents who will never see their child again, never have them jump in bed and cuddle with them.”
“The parents will never be the same,” he continued. “To lose a child, it’s like having a piece of your soul ripped away. There’s a hollowness in your chest, you feel like you are being sucked into it and are never going to be able to get out. Suffocating. It is never quite the same.”
Barack Obama Says ‘It’s Long Past Time For Action’
On Tuesday night, former President Barack Obama took to Twitter to release a lengthy statement.
“Across the country, parents are putting their children to bed, reading stories, singing lullabies—and in the back of their minds, they’re worried about what might happen tomorrow after they drop their kids off at school, or take them to a grocery store or any other public space,” he began.
“Michelle and I grieve with the families in Uvalde, who are experiencing pain no one should have to bear,” he continued. “We’re also angry for them. Nearly ten years after Sandy Hook—and ten days after Buffalo—our country is paralyzed, not by fear, but by a gun lobby and a political party that have shown no willingness to act in any way that might help prevent these tragedies.”
“It’s long past time for action, any kind of action. And it’s another tragedy—a quieter but no less tragic one—for families to wait another day,” he concluded. “May God bless the memory of the victims, and in the words of Scripture, heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds.”