One year after Uvalde, Biden renews call for assault weapons ban
Washington — President Biden on Wednesday renewed his call for Congress to ban "AR-15 firearms," assault weapons and high-capacity magazines as he marked one year since the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 children and two teachers dead and 17 more injured.
"Remembering is important, but it's also painful," Mr. Biden said, speaking in front of a backdrop of candles lit to represent each victim of the shooting. "One year ago today, Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, turned into another killing field in America."
The president recalled his and first lady Jill Biden's visit to Uvalde shortly after the tragedy to meet with the victims' families and see the memorial site at the school.
"Standing there in Uvalde, Jill and I couldn't help but think that too many schools, too many everyday places, had become killing fields in communities all across every part of America," the president said Wednesday. "And in each place, we hear the same message: 'Do something. For God's sake, please do something.' We did something afterwards, but not nearly enough."
Congress passed legislation last June to tighten some gun restrictions in the wake of Uvalde and other mass shootings. But the president urged Congress to do still more.
"It's time to act. It's time to act. It's time to make our voices heard," he said.
But the bans the president wants are highly unlikely with a Republican-controlled House and a narrowly divided Senate. Democrats were unable to pass such bans even when they controlled the House, Senate and White House.
After the Uvalde shooting last year, the president asked, "When in God's name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?"
"As a nation, we have to ask, when in God's name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?" Mr. Biden said at the time. "When in God's name will we do what we all know in our gut needs to be done?"
Vice President Kamala Harris released a statement Wednesday morning highlighting the names of every child and adult who lost their lives that day.
"Nevaeh. Jacklyn. Makenna. Jose. Eliahna. Uziyah. Amerie Jo. Xavier. Jayce. Tess. Maranda. Alithia. Annabell. Maite. Alexandria. Layla. Jailah. Eliahna. Rojelio. And their teachers, Irma Garcia and Eva Mireles," Harris said. "Nineteen children and two educators who should be here with us today ... Today, our nation continues to mourn for those lost, to pray for their families who must bear the unbearable, and to grieve for a country in which violence like this — even in elementary school classrooms — is sickeningly common."
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