US President Joe Biden on May 24 after a shooting at an elementary school (Texas), which killed at least 21 people, announced the need to challenge the gun lobby.
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“We have to ask [ourselves] when, in the name of all that is holy, we will start to confront the gun lobby. <…> It’s time to turn this pain into action. <…> We must make it clear to every elected official in this country that the time has come to act, ”he said, speaking at the White House with an appeal to the Americans.
Prior to this, the American leader expressed his condolences in connection with the death of students and adults at an elementary school in Texas. He also ordered US flags to be flown at half mast at government buildings, military installations and diplomatic missions until May 28.
The shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas became known earlier on Tuesday. According to the latest data, the victims were 18 children and three adults. It was also specified that two law enforcement officers were among the victims.
The assailant was identified as 18-year-old Salvador Roma, a student at Uvalde High School, according to state governor Gregory Abbott, so he easily entered the building. Before opening fire at an elementary school, he also shot his 66-year-old grandmother. She is alive but in critical condition.
According to the National Center for Counter-Terrorism Operations, at the moment there are no grounds to consider the incident a terrorist act. Local security agencies actively cooperate with federal, state and regional partners.
This is the second mass murder in the US in the last 10 days. Prior to this, on May 14, a shooting was reported at a supermarket in the American city of Buffalo (New York), where 10 people were killed. The motive of the criminal, who turned out to be an 18-year-old young man, was racial hatred. The investigators made this conclusion, since most of the 10 killed and three wounded were black.
Mass shootings in the US in 2021 increased 52.5% from 2020 and 96.8% from five years ago, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) data released this month. The FBI has noted an increase in the activity of so-called “mobile shooters” who carry out a series of attacks in different places over the course of one or more days.
In the U.S., free-to-carry weapons are legal in most states. The most loose gun ownership regulations exist in the states of Maine, Louisiana, and Alaska. In 43 states, the acquisition of weapons does not require obtaining licenses or registration.