Biden Marks Year Since Uvalde by Again Calling for Assault Weapons Ban

May 24, 2023

President Biden on Wednesday marked one year since the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas by again calling for a ban on assault weapons.

Nineteen children and two adults were killed in the May 24, 2022 mass shooting in Uvalde, making it the second deadliest elementary school shooing in U.S. history, after the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook.

“Remembering is important, but it’s also painful,” Biden began his somber speech on Wednesday, standing at a lectern flanked by 21 candles, one each to symbolize the children and adults killed in the massacre. First Lady Jill Biden, herself a teacher, stood nearby.

Noting that “too many schools…have become killing fields,” the President made reference to legislation passed last year by Congress in the aftermath of Uvalde as well as the mass shooting three months earlier at a supermarket frequented by Black shoppers in Buffalo, New York.

“We did something afterwards, but not nearly enough,” Biden said, again making his oft-repeated of late call to ban assault weapons. “They’ve been used time and again in mass killings of children and people,” he added, stating that “since Uvalde, our country has suffered a staggering 650 mass shootings.”

As a Senator, Biden helped pass a nationwide assault weapons ban in 1994, but the law lapsed in 2004.

The last time the Democrats attempted to push through the legislation, there were not enough votes in Congress. That was July 2022 when Democrats had majorities in both the House and Senate.

As of this past month, 10 states currently have laws restricting assault weapons: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York.

On Wednesday Biden pushed for even more “common sense safety laws,” including universal background checks, red flag laws, safe gun storage and an end to immunity from liability for gun manufactures. 

“It’s time to act,” the President urged. “It’s time to make our voices heard, not as Democrats and Republicans, but as friends, as neighbors, as parents.”

He ended his brief rermarks by saying, “God bless those 21 blessed souls lost on this day in Uvalde. May God bless their families. We’re thinking of you.”

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