President Joe Biden addressed the nation Tuesday following the deadly school shooting that happened in Uvalde, Texas, calling for change to the country’s gun laws.
“As a nation, we have to ask when in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?” Biden remarked. “When in God’s name do we do what we all know in our gut needs to be done?”
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, 20 people – 19 children, a teacher, and the suspected shooter – are dead after Tuesday’s shooting at Robb Elementary School. Gov. Greg Abbott said it is believed the 18-year-old suspect, identified as Salvador Ramos of Uvalde, abandoned his car and entered the school where he opened fire with a handgun, and possibly a rifle, before responding officers shot and killed him.
The alleged gunman also reportedly shot his own grandmother before entering the school, Abbott said, but he was unable to provide any further details about the connection between the two shooting incidents.
In his remarks Tuesday night, Biden noted that in the 10 years since a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School left 26 people, including 20 first-grade students, dead, “there have been over 900 incidents of guns fired reported on school grounds.”
“I am sick and tired,” he said. “And don’t tell me we can’t have an impact on this carnage.”
Biden’s remarks came shortly after his return from a trip to Asia. He explained that while on his return flight, he wondered, “These kinds of mass shootings rarely happen anywhere else in the world. Why?”
“It’s time to turn this pain into action,” he continued. “It’s time to act.”
Before departing for his overseas trip earlier this month, Biden traveled to Buffalo, New York, to meet with those impacted by a mass shooting at a grocery store that left 10 people dead.
The White House has issued a proclamation ordering all flags to be flown at half-staff for the victims of Tuesday’s shooting. Flags at the White House, public buildings, military installations, and embassies and consular offices will be flown at half-staff until Saturday.
The Associated Press and Nexstar Media Wire’s Jeremy Tanner contributed to this report.