President Joe Biden said he is “sick and tired” of lawmakers’ inaction on gun control after a gunman shot and killed over a dozen children at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday.
“As a nation, we have to ask: When in God’s name are we gonna stand up to the gun lobby … do what we all know in our gut needs to be done?” Biden said in an emotional speech from the White House.
“Why are we willing to live with this carnage? Why do we keep letting this happen? Where in God’s name is our backbone?” the president said. “It’s time to act. It’s time for those who obstruct or delay or block commonsense gun laws, to let you know: We will not forget. We can do so much more, we have to do more.”
As a nation we must ask: When in God’s name will we stand up to the gun lobby?
When in God’s name will we do what needs to be done?
I’m sick and tired of it. We have to act.
— President Biden (@POTUS) May 25, 2022
At least 19 young students and two teachers were killed after an 18-year-old gunman opened fire at Robb Elementary School on Tuesday afternoon. The shooter was killed by responding officers.
The school shooting is the deadliest mass shooting in the country this year.
In his remarks Tuesday, Biden noted that it has been a decade since a gunman killed 20 children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
And the shooting in Uvalde came only 10 days after 10 Black people were shot dead by an 18-year-old white supremacist at a supermarket in Buffalo.
“I am sick and tired of it. We have to act,” Biden said, noting he has worked throughout his political career to try to pass commonsense gun laws. He was vice president when the Sandy Hook shooting occurred.
“The idea that an 18-year-old kid can walk into a gun store and buy two assault weapons is just wrong,” the president added. “For God’s sake, we have to have the courage to stand up to the industry.”
The president then spoke to the “parents who will never see their child again, never have them jump in bed and cuddle with them, parents who will never be the same.” Two of Biden’s children have died.
“To lose a child is like having a piece of your soul ripped away. There’s a hollowness in your chest. ... And it’s never quite the same,” Biden said as he asked the nation to pray for the families.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.