US & Canada

Biden to visit Uvalde to mourn school shooting victims

The President and the First Lady will "grieve with the community that lost 21 lives in the horrific elementary school shooting", the White House announced on Thursday.

Washington: US President Joe Biden and First Lady will visit Uvalde on Sunday during which they will mourn the 21 people — 19 children and two teachers — who were killed during the shooting at the Robb Elementary School in the Texas town earlier this week.

The President and the First Lady will “grieve with the community that lost 21 lives in the horrific elementary school shooting”, the White House announced on Thursday.

The gunman, identified as 18-year-old Uvalde High School student Salvador Rolando Ramos, was killed by responding officers after the attack on Tuesday.

He used two AR-style rifles, both legally purchased, for the attack.

“The idea that an 18-year-old kid can walk into a gun store and buy two assault weapons is just wrong,” Biden said in a speech from the White House on Tuesday night.

He has also called out the influential gun lobby in the US and urged Congress to pass gun control legislation in the wake of rising firearms-related violence.

Senate Republicans have signaled a willingness to talk with Democrats on gun legislation that has long been stalled on Capitol Hill.

Students across the US held walk-outs on Thursday to protest against gun violence and the inaction of politicians.

In Rhode Island, students from schools in Providence lay down for three minutes outside the Rhode Island State House, according to a tweet from state lawmaker Tiara Mack.

Hundreds of gun control activists gathered on the lawn outside of the northeastern corner of the US Capitol on Thursday to demand action on what they called the “gun violence epidemic”.

“This is a uniquely American crisis,” Moms Demand Action gun control advocacy group founder Shannon Watts said.

“Parents across the rest of the developed world kiss their kids goodbye as they head off to school and don’t have to give it a second thought, because they don’t have 400 million guns flooding their streets, homes, and schools,” Watts added.

The US has seen at least 214 mass shootings so far this year, according to an online database that keeps a record of the country’s gun violence incidents.

More than 17,000 people have died in gun-related episodes across the US over the past five months, including at least 653 children and teenagers.

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