President Joe Biden passionately called on Congress to pass gun control legislation and urged the country to "stand up to the gun lobby" Tuesday, just hours after a gunman killed 18 children and multiple adults at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

This latest tragedy occurred just over a week after a racially motivated mass shooting in Buffalo, New York.


Biden, with first lady Jill Biden by his side, opened his remarks by saying that he had "hoped" he'd "never have to do this again."

"To lose a child is like having a piece of your soul ripped away. There's a hollowness in your chest, you feel like you're being sucked into it," the president continued. "It's the feeling shared by the siblings and the grandparents and family members and the community that's left behind."

"When in God's name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby? When in God's name are we going to do what we all know in our gut needs to be done?" Biden asked, before noting there have been over 900 incidents of gun violence reported on school grounds since the Sandy Hook shooting nearly a decade ago. "I am sick and tired of it. We have to act, and don't tell me we can't have an impact on the carnage."

Biden admitted "we can't prevent every tragedy" but vowed that his preferred gun control measures will reduce the violence and asked, "Why are we willing to live with this carnage?"

"It's time to turn this pain into action," the president stated. "We have to make it clear to every elected official in this country. It's time to act and to tell those who obstruct or delay or blocked the common-sense gun laws, we need to let you know that we will not forget."

Vice President Kamala Harris also addressed the shooting during her speech Tuesday night at the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies annual summit.

"Enough is enough," she told the crowd. "As a nation, we have to have the courage to take action and understand the nexus between what makes for reasonable and sensible public policy to ensure something like this never happens again."

Texas authorities identified the suspected shooter to the press as Salvador Ramos, an 18-year-old student who attended a local high school.

Ramos allegedly shot his grandmother before traveling to Robb Elementary School. According to Sgt. Erick Estrada of the Texas Department of Public Safety, Ramos crashed his car near the school. School safety officers engaged the gunman, who was wearing body armor, but were unable to prevent him from entering the school.

The Associated Press reports that a Border Patrol agent who happened to be near the scene rushed into the school after the shooting started and eventually shot and killed Ramos.


Authorities say he had a handgun and possibly a rifle, and it is not yet known if the gunman purchased the firearms legally.

"Texans across the state are grieving for the victims of this senseless crime and for the community of Uvalde," Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement. "Cecilia and I mourn this horrific loss and we urge all Texans to come together to show our unwavering support to all who are suffering. We thank the courageous first responders who worked to finally secure Robb Elementary School. I have instructed the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Rangers to work with local law enforcement to fully investigate this crime."