WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — On Sunday, President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will travel to Uvalde, Texas, to grieve with the community that lost 21 lives in the horrific elementary school shooting. The president is also pushing for solutions aimed at keeping communities and children safer in the future.
In a Tweet earlier this week, Biden said that after the federal assault weapons ban expired, mass shootings in this country tripled.
But for any gun legislation to be passed, the president’s party must convince Senate Republicans, who for years have blocked gun control bills.
Democrats on Capitol Hill are angry after the shooting in Uvalde and they’re pushing back against Republicans who say the solution to school shootings is to harden schools with armed guards or school officials.
“No, putting more armed adults in schools is not the answer,” said Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) “If more guns was the answer, the United States of America would be the safest measure in the world.”
Reports indicate that the shooter entered Robb Elementary School through an unlocked door and was in there for up to an hour, executing students and teachers before he was stopped by armed officers on the scene.
“To our Senate Republican colleagues, how is this acceptable?” Padilla asked. “How are you not outraged?”
Democrats say more gun safety measures like universal background checks, assault weapons bans, high-capacity magazine bans and red flag laws are a big part of the solution.
“Our goal and our hope and our belief is that we can find that common ground,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn).
Murphy of Connecticut is leading the negotiations with Republicans. However, following the shooting at the Texas elementary school, Republicans have focused on the issue of mental health and providing resources for schools to identify students who could turn into threats.
“Get them help, intervention,” suggested Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa.
“This is not an excuse to infringe on the second amendment rights of law-abiding citizens,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX).
Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer says he won’t allow negotiations to be dragged out indefinitely. Instead, he’s giving Republicans and Democrats two weeks two negotiate, and then he plans to force a vote on the Senate floor on a gun reform bill.