Barack Obama is calling for gun reform following the tragedy in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday. The former president of the U.S. took to Twitter to share his thoughts on the school shooting at Robb Elementary, which left 19 students and two teachers dead, saying he and wife Michelle Obama “grieve with the families.”
“We’re also angry for them,” he continued. “Nearly ten years after Sandy Hook — and ten days after Buffalo — our country is paralyzed, not by fear, but by a gun lobby and a political party that have shown no willingness to act in any way that might help prevent these tragedies.”
Obama is seemingly referring the lack of bipartisan support for gun violence legislation in the Senate. According to The Washington Post, the House of Representatives passed two bills to expand background checks on firearms purchases last year. “One would have closed a loophole for private and online sales; the other would have extended the background check review period.” But both have sat in the 50-50 Senate, where Democrats need at least 10 Republican votes to overcome objections from a filibuster.
On Tuesday night, Obama retweeted Sen. Chris Murphy speech on the Senate floor, in which he “begged” lawmakers to “find a path forward” and enact gun control bills — something they have failed to do since 20 children and six educators died in a Newtown, Connecticut, school shooting during Obama’s presidential term on Dec. 14, 2012.
“What are we doing? What are we doing? Just days after a shooter walked into a grocery store to gun down African American patrons we have another Sandy Hook on our hands,” Murphy, who represented Newtown during his time as a U.S. congressman, said.
"I am here on this floor to beg — to literally get down on my hands and knees and beg my colleagues. Find a path forward here. Work with us to find a way to pass laws that make this less likely,” he added. “I understand my Republican colleagues may not agree to everything I support, but there is a common denominator we can find. There is a place where we can achieve agreement..."
Obama shared a similar sentiment in his statement, writing parents are no doubt worrying about sending their children to school when something like the Uvalde shooting happens. “It’s long past time for action, any kind of action,” Obama wrote. “And it’s another tragedy — a quieter but no less tragic one — for families to wait another day.”
President Joe Biden also spoke out about the gun lobby and the lack of legislation when he addressed the nation Tuesday, saying that since the 1994 Federal assault weapons ban expired in 2004, shootings have tripled.
"We have to make it clear to every elected official in this country: it's time to act. It's time for those who've delayed or blocked the common sense gun laws, we need to let you know — we will not forget,” Biden said. “We can do so much more. We have to do more."