The president has delivered remarks at the White House on today’s mass shooting. Footage of the talk can be found here.
“I had hoped when I became president I would not have to do this, again. Another massacre,” he began in an emotional speech.
Biden drew on his own experience with grief, having lost his first wife and young daughter in a car accident in 1972 and an adult son to cancer in 2015.
“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 … you’re never quite the same”
The president took a harsher tone when speaking about the need for “common sense” gun legislation. He spoke of the shooting in Buffalo ten days ago, and lamented that in both incidents an 18-year-old was able to purchase a gun and commit such heinous crimes.
“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?”
“It is time to turn this pain to the action,” he said. “For every parent, every citizen of this country. We have to make it clear to every elected official in this country: it’s time to act. It’s time for those who obstruct or delay or blocked the common sense gun laws – we need to let you know that we will not forget.”
Biden’s speech came shortly after he returned to the White House from a multi-day trip to Asia.