President Joe Biden will address the nation moments after he touches down from his foreign trip to Asia.
Flags are flying at half-staff at the White House as President Joe Biden is expected to address the nation and reporters when he lands back in Washington, D.C. from his trip to Asia. The presidential remarks will be held in the Roosevelt Room on the heels of the deadly school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
President Biden has been briefed on the horrific fatal shootings at Robb Elementary School that left at least 18 students and two adults. The 18-year-old shooter, who is also dead, reportedly shot his grandmother before the school rampage. As Biden traveled home, some parents reportedly had not been notified that their children were among the dead.
The Texas massacre brought immediate flashbacks to the horrific and deadliest school shooting in United States history at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. In that shooting, 26 people were killed – including 20 children.
Former U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who served in the Obama administration at the time of Sandy Hook, vividly remembers the tragedy.
“It’s obviously every parent’s worst, worst nightmare,” Duncan told theGrio. “The grief and devastation and I can’t even imagine this is in my head.”
In 2012, Duncan and Obama toured Sandy Hook Elementary in the immediate aftermath of the school shooting. Secretary Duncan recalled the emotions from that tour. “This is incredibly personal,” he said. Speaking about the continuance of mass shooting incidents in the U.S., Duncan added, “This is a made in America problem.”
While attending an Asian American and Pacific Islanders gala event in Washington, D.C., an emotional Vice President Kamala Harris addressed a room of leaders about the horrific mass school shooting. Harris said she and President Biden were still monitoring the incident. “Every time I’ve cracked a tragedy like this happens, our hearts break. And our broken hearts are nothing compared to the broken hearts of those families,” said Harris.
The Vice President then turned her sadness to anger, saying, “Enough is enough.”
She added, “As a nation, we have to have the courage to take action and understand the nexus between what makes for reasonable and sensible public policy to ensure something like this never happens again.”
Ironically, three hours after Tuesday’s shooting, the White House held a pre-planned meeting with Domestic Policy Advisor, Ambassador Susan Rice, and civil rights leaders, including Rev. Al Sharpton. The discussion focused on domestic terrorism. The high-level conversation centered around stiffening and creating new laws on gun control and anti-hate.
Biden senior officials were following up on Sharpton’s proposal to hold a summit gathering communities victimized by violent hate. Sharpton said the planning for the forum is still evolving, however, it is expected to be a “national call” to establish accountability.
Tuesday’s meeting in the West Wing was an outgrowth of the recent racially-motivated Buffalo grocery store shooting that left 10 African Americans dead. Sharpton emphasized that the event is intended to gather leaders of all races and communities who have been targets of violent hate. The civil rights leader believes there is strength in numbers, as he noted, “it is not one group being attacked.”
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