President Biden, first lady to visit site of Texas shooting on Sunday


President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will travel to Uvalde, Texas, on Sunday, the White House announced — the community that lost 19 children and two adults on Tuesday when a gunman targeted an elementary school.

The president “will meet with the community leaders, religious leaders and the families of the victims,” said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Thursday.

Biden, whose young daughter died in 1972, spoke directly to parents of the victims in a speech earlier this week, telling them he knows that losing a child is like “having a piece of your soul ripped away.”

The first lady had confirmed their planned trip on Wednesday at an event to welcome a new shipment of baby formula, telling reporters: “Of course we’re going to Texas.”

The Bidens will make the trip nearly two weeks after they visited Buffalo, New York, to mourn with that community in the aftermath of a racist attack a grocery store that saw 10 people killed.

President Biden on Tuesday night called for urgent action and for lawmakers to “stand up to” pro-gun lobbies.

“Why are we willing to live with this carnage? Why do we keep letting this happen? Where in God’s name is our backbone, or the courage to deal with and stand up to the lobbies?” he asked.

“It’s time to turn this pain into action for every parent, for every citizen in this country. We have to make it clear to every elected official in this country: it’s time to act,” he added.

The first lady, a teacher, also called for action on Wednesday.

“Let us pray that God cradles those broken families in the palm of his hand,” she said. “But let us also pray to use the will and courage God gives to each of us to act united, with common sense, to protect our children.”

A bipartisan group of lawmakers on Thursday began discussions on renewed gun safety legislation. But their time to negotiate is limited, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said.

Schumer plans to bring Democrat-supported bills to the Senate floor if the talks fail, and he said Democrats have “deep skepticism” about Republicans’ appetite for gun reform.

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