President Biden is scheduled to deliver remarks at 8:15 p.m. ET on Tuesday in response to a shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. The President ordered all U.S. flags on federal property to be flown at half-staff until May 28 as a “mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence.”
On Tuesday afternoon, a gunman went into an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas and fatally shot 14 children and a teacher, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said during a news conference.
According to Abbott, the suspect was an 18-year-old man who entered Robb Elementary School with a handgun and possibly a rifle.
Abbott said that the suspect is “deceased” and that it is “believed that responding officers killed him.”
Congressional lawmakers swiftly reacted to the devastating news.
In an impassioned speech on the Senate floor, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), who represents the state that saw the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting, urged his Republican colleagues to join Democrats to take legislative action on gun violence.
“Why do you spend all this time running for the United States Senate ― why do you go through all the hassle of getting this job, of putting yourself in a position of authority ― if your answer as the slaughter increases, as our kids run for their lives, [is that] we do nothing?” Murphy said.
“What are we doing? Why are you here, if not to solve a problem as existential as this?” he said.
“I’m 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,” Murphy said.
Murphy also implored Republican senators to “spare me the bullshit of mental illness” in response to gun violence.
“You cannot explain this through a prism of mental illness because we’re not an outlier on mental illness — we’re an outlier when it comes to access to firearms,” Murphy said.
Fred Guttenberg, the father of one of the 17 people killed during the 2018 Parkland shooting and an advocate for stricter gun control, also delivered emotional remarks during an appearance on MSNBC. Guttenberg said he wants to tell Texas lawmakers to “F off” for their inaction on gun violence.
Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) responded to the shooting shortly after news broke, saying they are in touch with local officials in Uvalde.
Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) also tore into Cruz for accusing Democrats of “politicizing” gun violence.