President Biden said Wednesday that he and first lady Jill Biden would be traveling to Texas “in the coming days” to do whatever they could to comfort the community..
The President, addressing the shooting in formal remarkssince it happened a day earlier, reiterated the need for “common sense” gun reform measures and urged the Senate to confirm his nominee for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms fire and explosives (ATF). The president made the remarks at an event focused on his signing an executive order aimed at strengthening police accountability.
“Since I spoke last night, the confirmed death toll has tragically increased, including another teacher and two more, three more students,” the president said. “Jill and I will be traveling to Texas in the next few days to meet with the families and let them know that we have a feeling, just a feeling of their pain. And hopefully bring some comfort to the beleaguered community. shock and grief and in trauma. As a nation, I think we all have to be there for them. Everyone. And we have to ask ourselves when, in the name of God, will we do what needs to be done for , if not completely stop, fundamentally change the amount of carnage that is happening in this country.”
Without going into specific legislation, the president said that “common sense gun reforms,” while they cannot prevent all tragedies, can have a significant impact without harming the Second Amendment.
“The Second Amendment is not absolute,” the president said.
As he did Tuesday night, the president urged members of Congress to stand up to the gun lobby.
“The idea that an 18-year-old can walk into a store and buy weapons of war designed and marketed to kill is, I think, just plain wrong,” Mr Biden said. “That’s a violation of common sense. Even the maker, the inventor of this gun, thought that too. You know, where’s the spine?”
The president’s nominee for ATF director Steve Dettelbach was grilled on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. Some Republicans have expressed concern over Dettelbach’s past support for an assault weapons ban.
“The Senate should confirm this without delay, without excuse,” Biden said of his nominee on Wednesday. “Send the nomination to my office. It’s time to act.”
On Wednesday, Vice President Kamala Harris also urged Congress to pass “reasonable” gun safety laws on Wednesday, speaking before the president.
“As the president said last night, we need to have the courage to stand up to the gun lobby and pass reasonable gun safety laws,” she said. “We must work together to create an America where everyone feels safe in their community. Where children feel safe in their schools.”
— Rob Legare contributed to this report