00:00:00

After Uvalde, Biden vows to keep up pressure for gun regulation



Publicado: 30/05/2022

Washington (AFP) -

Under pressure to act after the latest US mass shooting that left 21 people dead, President Joe Biden vowed on Monday to push for stricter gun regulation, an uphill battle given the Democrats' narrow congressional majority.

'I've been pretty motivated all along' to act on guns, Biden told reporters in Washington.

'I'm going to continue to push,' he said, adding, 'I think things have gotten so bad that everybody is getting more rational about it.'

Biden spoke as the grieving Texas town of Uvalde was holding its first wakes for some of the 19 children and two teachers gunned down last week at their elementary school by a local teenager who was then killed by police.

The first funerals are set for Tuesday, with others scheduled through mid-June. The huge number of victims, many with horrific wounds, has left the town's two funeral homes turning to embalmers and morticians from across Texas for help.

One anonymous donor has pledged $175,000 to help cover funeral costs, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said.

An impromptu memorial in the heart of Uvalde, a town of 15,000 about an hour's drive from the Mexican border, has drawn a steady stream of mourners. So have churches in the mostly Latino city, including the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, where Biden and First Lady Jill Biden prayed when they visited on Sunday.

- 'Rational action' -

The Uvalde massacre -- the deadliest school attack since 20 children and six staff were killed in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012 -- came less than two weeks after 10 people died in an attack at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York by a young gunman targeting African Americans.

Congress has repeatedly failed to agree on tighter gun regulations despite the grim recurrence of mass shootings, but the latest killings in the country's epidemic of gun violence have sparked a push for new measures.

While mass shootings draw anguished attention and spur momentary demands for change, most gun violence in this country passes with scant notice.

The country's Memorial Day weekend -- Monday is a national holiday -- has been marked by shootings that killed at least four people and wounded dozens, according to the Gun Violence Archive website.

Gunfire Sunday at a festival in Taft, Oklahoma left one person dead and seven, including an infant, wounded; while in Chattanooga, Tennessee, six adolescents were wounded Saturday during an apparent altercation, Mayor Tim Kelly tweeted.

Gun-control advocates hoped the shock over the Uvalde shooting, coming even as people in Buffalo were burying victims of the attack there, might finally prompt politicians to act.

A few key lawmakers did express guarded optimism on Sunday -- though any gun-control effort faces deep resistance from most Republicans and some rural-state Democrats in a country where guns outnumber people.

'There are more Republicans interested in talking about finding a path forward this time than I have seen since Sandy Hook,' Democratic Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy told local TV on Sunday, adding that bipartisan 'serious negotiations' were underway.

Biden said Monday he is deliberately 'not negotiating with any of the Republicans yet.'

But, he added, 'I know what happened when we had rational action before' on gun regulation.

'It did significantly cut down mass murders.'

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.