In the wake of the Florida high school shooting, former President Barack Obama is calling for legislative action on gun control, saying it’s “long overdue.”
“We are grieving with Parkland. But we are not powerless,” the 44th President tweeted Thursday. “Caring for our kids is our first job. And until we can honestly say that we’re doing enough to keep them safe from harm, including long overdue, common-sense gun safety laws that most Americans want, then we have to change.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden tweeted earlier Thursday that Congress has a “moral obligation to take action and spare more families from this violence.”
On Wednesday, a gunman killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in what is one of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in modern US history.
Obama’s statement Thursday contrasted with that of his Republican successor in calling for gun-control legislation.
In an address to the nation from the White House on Thursday, President Donald Trump steered clear of any discussion of gun laws, but shared that he plans to discuss policies to make schools safer in a meeting with governors and attorneys general later this month.
After the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, Obama struggled to get Congress to pass gun legislation, ultimately issuing a series of executive orders aimed at curbing gun violence.
There was some congressional action on legislation to curb gun violence last fall in response to mass shootings in Las Vegas and Texas, but those measures weren’t passed into law.
The only gun measure Trump has signed so far was last February, which revoked an Obama-era regulation that required the Social Security Administration to disclose information to the national gun background check system about certain people with mental illness on a quarterly basis. It’s unclear if that measure would have prevented Wednesday’s shooting.