President Joe Biden will travel to Uvalde, Texas, on Sunday, less than a week after a gunman killed 19 children and two adults at a local elementary school in the second deadliest school shooting in the U.S.
The White House released a brief statement on Thursday announcing the President’s plans to “travel to Uvalde, Texas to grieve with the community that lost twenty-one lives in the horrific elementary school shooting,” according to CNBC. The President addressed the tragedy in remarks from the White House on Tuesday night, hours after the shooting took place.
“I had hoped, when I became President, I would not have to do this again,” Biden said. “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. They’ll live with it the rest of their lives.”
Biden traveled to Buffalo, New York, the site of another mass shooting, last week. The President condemned white supremacy and replacement theory.
Biden used the occasion to call for stricter measures on guns. He suggested renewing the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act that timed out in 2004. He claimed that the legislation led to a drop in mass shootings, and that after the ban expired, mass shootings “tripled.”
“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,” he said. “I spent my career as a senator and as Vice President working to pass commonsense gun laws.”
“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. It’s just sick,” he said. “And the gun manufacturers have spent two decades aggressively marketing assault weapons, which make them the most and largest profit.”
Many Democrats have joined in Biden’s call for additional gun control measures in the wake of the Texas shooting.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) on Wednesday emphasized the need for additional mental health resources in the wake of the shooting, and said that the state and its partners would ensure access to such resources for the Uvalde community in the aftermath of the shooting.
“Some physical wounds that were sustained by the officers, they’re going to heal in the coming days. The mental and emotional wounds are far harder to see, and last far longer. The state of Texas working with federal and local officials in agencies, we’re going to be here for a long, long time,” Abbott said. “And one key point that we will focus on is making sure that everybody in this community has the access they need – for as long as they need it – to address the mental and emotional healthcare needs that they have.”