President Joe Biden delivered an emotional address to the nation following Tuesday’s elementary school shooting which took the lives of at least 19 children and two adults in Texas.

Texas Shooting Suspect Salvador Ramos

“I had hoped when I became president I would not have to do this — again,” Biden said in his opening remarks. “Another massacre. Uvalde, Texas. An elementary school. Beautiful, innocent second, third and fourth graders. And how many scores of little children who witnessed what happened — see their friends die, as if they’re on a battlefield, for God’s sake. They’ll live with it the rest of their lives.”

The President was on his way home from a trip to Asia when he was alerted of the tragedy. Salvador Ramos, an 18-year-old high school student was the shooter. He was fatally taken down by police on the scene.

“What struck me on that 17-hour flight what struck me was these kinds of mass shootings rarely happen anywhere else in the world. Why?” the president questioned. “They have mental health problems. They have domestic disputes in other countries. They have people who are lost, but these kinds of mass shootings never happen with the kind of frequency they happen in America. Why? Why are we willing to live with this carnage?”

Biden urged Congress to take action and stand up for the gun lobby, just a week after he visited Buffalo, New York, to honor the victims of a different mass shooting in a grocery store that took 10 lives. He acknowledged that no law could fully prevent a similar attack from happening, but pushed lawmakers to enact “common sense” gun restriction measures.

“The idea that an 18-year-old kid can walk into a gun store and buy two assault weapons is just wrong,” Biden added.

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