WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden will travel to Uvalde, Texas, on Sunday to console families and honor victims of Tuesday’s mass school shooting in which 19 children and two teachers were killed.
The White House said the Bidens would “grieve with the community that lost 21 lives in the horrific” shooting at Robb Elementary School. Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the president would meet with the community and religious leaders and victims’ families.
Jean-Pierre, the parent of an elementary school student, delivered an impassioned plea at the White House for lawmakers to come together to address gun violence.
“These were elementary school kids, they should be losing their first teeth not losing their lives,” she said.
Asked about the propriety of the National Rifle Association going ahead with its planned conference in Houston this weekend, Jean-Pierre, said, “What is inappropriate is that the leadership of the National Rifle Association has proven time and time again, that they are contributing to the problem of gun violence, not trying to solve it.”
“It’s shameful that the NRA and their allies have stood in the way of every attempt to advance measures that we all know will save lives,” she said.
Jean-Pierre echoed Biden, who in remarks Tuesday evening, spoke from personal experience about the pain of losing a child, and called on the country to tighten gun laws in response to the shooting.
’“When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?” he said. “Why are we willing to live with this carnage? Why do we keep letting this happen?”