US President Joe Biden said on Wednesday he and first lady Jill Biden will travel to Uvalde,Texas, in coming days to console families of the young shooting victims killed at an elementary school.
Biden was speaking at the White House to roll out an executive order on police reform on the two-year anniversary of the death of George Floyd, a Black man, while in police custody in Minneapolis.
Floyd’s death sparked protests around the country and the world.
The President added remarks to his speech about the Uvalde shooting, which police say was carried out by 18-year-old Salvador Ramos.
Americans were shocked by the death toll in the latest in a long string of mass shootings: 19 students and two teachers.
“Jill and I will be travelling to Texas in the coming days to meet with the families to let them know we have a sense, just a sense of their pain, and, hopefully, bring some little comfort to a community in shock and grief and trauma,” Biden said.
A little more than a week ago, he visited Buffalo, New York, to console the families of 10 people killed at a supermarket there – nearly all of them Black – by an avowed white supremacist. “I’m sick and tired of it,” Biden said on Wednesday.
How far government can go in controlling access to firearms has been one of the most divisive issues in the United States.
It pits those who say restricting the availability of guns will save lives against those who maintain that guns themselves are not the root cause of mass shootings and that the right to bear arms is protected by the US Constitution.
Biden urged the Senate to quickly confirm Steven Dettelbach, his nominee to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, whose mission includes enforcing US gun laws.
Dettelbach appeared at his Senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday.
Biden also renewed his criticism of the US gun lobby, which fights attempts to impose stronger regulations on the gun industry.
“Where’s the backbone, where’s the courage to stand up to a very powerful lobby?” he said.
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