U.S. President Joe Biden asked Americans to stand up to the gun lobby and pressure members of Congress to pass sensible gun laws after the killing of at least 18 children and an adult in a Texas school shooting on Tuesday (May 24).
Authorities said an 18-year-old gunman opened fire at an elementary school in south Texas, about 80 miles (130 km) west of San Antonio before he apparently was killed by police officers.
“I hoped when I became president I would not have to do this, again,” a visibly shaken Biden said, decrying the death of “beautiful, innocent” second, third and fourth graders in “another massacre.”
Their parents “will never see their child again, never have them jump in bed and cuddle with them,” he said.
“As a nation, we have to ask, ‘When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?'”
“We have to act,” he said and suggested reinstating the assault weapons ban and other “common sense gun laws.”
Biden ordered the flags at the White House and at U.S. federal and public buildings to be flown at half-staff until sunset on May 28.