Updated May 24, 2022 - Politics & Policy

"It’s just sick": Biden calls for more action after Texas school shooting

In a fiery speech from the White House on Tuesday, President Biden expressed anger, disappointment and pain over the Texas elementary school shooting that killed at least 18 children.

What he's saying: “How many scores of little children who witnessed what happened, who’ve seen their friends die like they're on a battlefield, for God's sake," Biden said.

  • "To lose a child is like having a piece of your soul ripped away," he said. "There's a hollowness in your chest, you feel like you're being sucked into it. And never going to be able to get out. It's never quite the same. It's a feeling shared by the siblings and grandparents and family members and the community that's left behind."
  • "Why are we willing to live with this carnage? Why do we keep letting this happen? Where in god's name is our backbone to have the courage to deal with to stand up to the lobbyists? It's time to turn this pain into action."
“As a nation, we have to ask: When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?”

The latest: At least 18 students and one adult were killed in Tuesday's shooting, Sgt. Erick Estrada of the Texas Department of Public Safety told CNN. The gunman was also killed, officials said.

  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said the suspect entered Robb Elementary School with a handgun.
  • Estrada said the shooter crashed his car near the school. He exited with a rifle and a backpack while wearing body armor.

Uvalde chief of police Pete Arredondo said during a press conference earlier Tuesday that the shooting is still under investigation.

  • "We had numerous law enforcement officers and agencies that assisted with the safety release for those students," Arredondo said. "We do want to keep all of their families in our prayers. I hope you do as well."

State of play: Biden told Abbott on Tuesday he would receive “any and all assistance he needs in the wake of the horrific shooting," White House communications director Kate Bedingfield tweeted.

  • Biden ordered flags to be flown at half-staff at the White House and all public grounds.
  • It's unclear if Biden will travel to Texas.

The big picture: Congressional lawmakers have started to speak out about the shooting.

  • Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) slammed his colleagues for doing "nothing" to address gun violence.
  • Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told CNN that people "are grieving horrifically" but gun control won't help.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details throughout.

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