President Joe Biden on Monday revived his push for a federal assault weapons ban in the aftermath of a deadly elementary school shooting.
“I call on Congress again to pass my assault weapon ban. It’s about time we begin to make some progress, but there’s more to learn,” Biden said at a Small Business Administration Women’s Business Summit.
The event in the East Room of the White House began lightheartedly as Biden opened his address by discussing his favorite ice cream flavor and talking to kids in the audience.
“I came down because I heard there was chocolate chip ice cream,” Biden said. His speech quickly shifted to calling on Congress to ban assault weapons in the wake of the shooting.
Three adults and three children were confirmed dead following a mass shooting Monday morning at The Covenant School, a private Christian school in Nashville.
The 28-year-old female suspect, who has not been identified, was killed in an altercation with police. The woman had at least two semi-automatic rifles and a handgun, police said.
Biden called the shooting “heartbreaking” and a “family’s worst nightmare.”
“We have to do more to stop gun violence; it’s ripping our communities apart — ripping the soul of this nation,” Biden said. “And we have to do more to protect our schools, so they aren’t turned into prisons.”
Biden has focused on reinstating the assault weapons ban that he helped pass in 1994 as senator, but which lapsed in 2004. The president doesn’t appear to have the votes for an assault weapons ban in Congress.
“How many more children have to be murdered before Republicans in Congress will step up and act to pass the assault weapons ban,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Monday.
At an event in Washington on Monday, first lady Jill Biden also spoke about the shooting.
“I am truly without words. Our children deserve better. We stand, all of us, we stand with Nashville in prayer,” Jill Biden said.
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