May 24, 2022 -- Deadly shooting at Texas elementary school

By Amir Vera, Mike Hayes, Aditi Sangal, Melissa Macaya and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 2:26 PM ET, Thu May 26, 2022
50 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
9:25 p.m. ET, May 24, 2022

Biden's speech was "essentially, thoughts and prayers," Parkland shooting survivor says

Cameron Kasky, survivor of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting
Cameron Kasky, survivor of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting (CNN)

Cameron Kasky, a survivor of the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, criticized President Biden's response to Tuesday's shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

"I hear a lot of people talking about Joe Biden's personal life and the horrible personal loss he's endured that obviously makes him a compassionate leader. But what does Joe Biden's personal life have to do with the fact that there is currently a product that is being marketed to Americans by Republican senators and congressmen — and by Mr. Joe Manchin, who is a Democrat —You've got these guns that are being sold to Americans and sown into the American narrative as if they stand for freedom," Kasky said on CNN.

He added that he appreciates the empathy that Biden displays but said the address was a disappointment for Americans who advocate for gun safety.

"Joe Biden goes up there and talks about how it's horrible to lose a family member ... and says that it's bad that mass violence happens. It's great that he thinks it's bad. But I can tell you that gun control organizers, people who believe in gun safety, common-sense gun safety laws, around the country were waiting to hear the words 'executive order' and instead we heard the words, essentially, thoughts and prayers," Kasky added.

Kasky noted that mass shootings have become a common occurrence in the United States.

"There's a new one every single day. And that's on a good day, because on the bad days there's quite a few," he said. "These students are going to go back into school soon and they are going to live lives and have childhoods and early adulthoods that are completely informed by this tragedy. From what I've seen with Parkland and with all these other horrible shootings, it changes people forever," he added.

9:18 p.m. ET, May 24, 2022

US attorney general calls deadly Texas school shooting an "act of unspeakable violence"

From CNN's Evan Perez

Attorney General Merrick Garland called today's deadly school shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, an “act of unspeakable violence” and said, “We join our fellow Americans in mourning this terrible loss and in their resolve to end this senseless violence.”

Read the full statement:

“Today, another mass shooting has taken the lives of innocent victims, including elementary school children and their teacher. This act of unspeakable violence has devastated an entire community and shaken our country. 
“FBI and ATF agents have responded to the scene, and the Justice Department is committed to providing our full support to our law enforcement partners on the ground in Texas and to the Uvalde community. 
“We join our fellow Americans in mourning this terrible loss and in their resolve to end this senseless violence.”
9:19 p.m. ET, May 24, 2022

Biden asks lawmakers to "turn this pain into action" in emotional White House remarks

From CNN's Paul LeBlanc

(Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)
(Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

President Biden addressed the Texas school shooting in emotional remarks from the White House Tuesday evening, saying, “I had hoped when I became President I would not have to do this again.”

“There’s a lot we don’t know yet. There’s a lot we do know. Parents who will never see their child again, never have them jump in bed and cuddle with them. Parents who will never be the same. To lose a child is like having a piece of your soul ripped away,” said Biden, who has before spoken in deeply personal terms about the family tragedies he has endured.

Turning to the issue of gun control legislation, Biden implored lawmakers to “turn this pain into action" as he ticked through some of the mass shootings since the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, when he was vice president.

"I am sick and tired of it. We have to act. And don't tell me we can't have an impact on this carnage," the President said, asking: “Why do we keep letting this happen?"

"Where in God’s name is our backbone to have the courage to deal with and stand up to the lobbies?” he said.

9:11 p.m. ET, May 24, 2022

There have been more mass shootings than days in 2022

From CNN's Christina Maxouris

Tuesday, May 24, was the 144th day of the year.

There have so far been at least 212 mass shootings in 2022, according to the nonprofit organization Gun Violence Archive. This means there have been more mass shootings this year than there have been days in 2022.

CNN and the GVA define a mass shooting as a shooting that injured or killed four or more people, not including the shooter.

9:04 p.m. ET, May 24, 2022

Obama: "Our country is paralyzed, not by fear, but by a gun lobby and a political party"

From CNN's Dan Merica

Former President Barack Obama responded to the shooting in Uvalde, Texas, by saying the United States “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.”

Read Obama's full statement:  

“Across the country, parents are putting their children to bed, reading stories, singing lullabies—and in the back of their minds, they’re worried about what might happen tomorrow after they drop their kids off at school, or take them to a grocery store or any other public space.”
“Michelle and I grieve with the families in Uvalde, who are experiencing pain no one should have to bear. We’re also angry for them. 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.”
“It’s long past time for action, any kind of action. And it’s another tragedy—a quieter but no less tragic one—for families to wait another day. May God bless the memory of the victims, and in the words of Scripture, heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds.”

 

9:03 p.m. ET, May 24, 2022

Biden says it's time to act: "Where in God's name is our backbone?"

From CNN's Amir Vera

In his remarks to the nation Tuesday, President Biden said on his 17-hour flight from Asia he wondered why mass shootings are so prevalent in America.

"They have mental health problems. They have domestic disputes in other countries. They have people who are lost. But these kinds of mass shootings don’t happen with the frequency they happen in America,” Biden said.

"Why are we willing to live with this carnage? Why do we keep letting this happen? Where in God’s name is our backbone to have the courage to deal with and stand up to the lobbyists," Biden said.

Biden said it is time to "turn this pain into action" for the parents and citizens of the US.

"We have to make it clear to every elected official in this country it’s time to act,” he said.

9:05 p.m. ET, May 24, 2022

"I'm sick and tired of it," Biden says of mass shootings as he calls for gun reform

While addressing the nation after Tuesday's mass shooting at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, President Biden remembered the 2012 Sandy Hook mass shooting that claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults, and the others that have followed since.

"Since then, there have been over 900 incidents of gunfires reported on school grounds. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Santa Fe High School in Texas, Oxford High School in Michigan — list goes on and on. The list grows. When you include mass shootings in places like movie theaters, houses of worship, as we saw just 10 days ago at a grocery store in Buffalo New York," he said.

"I am sick and tired of it. We have to act. And don't tell me we can't have an impact on this carnage," he added.

He stressed the importance of "common-sense gun laws," saying that not every tragedy can be prevented, but these laws can have a positive impact.

"The idea that an 18-year-old kid can walk into a gun store and buy two assault weapons is just wrong. What in God's name do you need assault weapon for except to kill someone?" he said.

"Deer aren't running through the forest with Kevlar vests on for God's sake. It's just sick," he added.

9:39 p.m. ET, May 24, 2022

Biden: "When in God's name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?"

(Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)
(Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

President Biden addressed the nation from the White House tonight, opening his remarks by saying, "I had hoped, when I became President, I would not have to do this, again."

He called today's mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, "another massacre" in the US.

"Beautiful, innocent, second, third, fourth graders. And how many scores of little children who witness what happened, see their friends die, as if they're on a battlefield for God's sake," Biden said.

The President said, "To lose a child is like having a piece of your soul ripped away." He said the feeling is "suffocating."

The President called on the nation to pray for the victims and "stand up to the gun lobby" in the wake of today's events.

"So tonight, I ask the nation to��pray for them, to give the parents and siblings the strength in the darkness they feel now. As a nation, we have to ask when in God's name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby? When in God's name will we do what we all know in our gut needs to be done?"

Watch full speech:

8:44 p.m. ET, May 24, 2022

Biden helped craft tonight's speech "with Sandy Hook in mind"

From CNN's Jeff Zeleny

President Biden insisted on delivering a speech to the nation tonight in the wake of the horrific Texas shooting, aides said, demanding to his White House advisers that he address the latest unspeakable slaughter of children in America.

As he flew back to Washington and worked on his speech aboard Air Force One, the President referred to the tragedy of Newtown – and the disappointing aftermath when Congress failed to pass any gun safety legislation.

Biden, who was vice president at the time of the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, was the point person for the Obama administration during that legislative push. He has often called that one of the biggest disappointments of his public life – unable to persuade enough senators to support even modest legislation.

The President helped write tonight’s speech “with Sandy Hook in mind,” a senior White House official said, “and his fervent belief that he cannot stop trying to push Congress.”