Biden on Texas Mass Shooting: “Why Are We Willing to Live With This Carnage?”

In a short and furious national address, an openly despairing president called for action.

Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

In a brief address Tuesday night, following the senseless massacre of at least 18 children and a teacher at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, a beleaguered Joe Biden asked the nation “when in God’s name” America would stand up to the gun lobby. 

He mourned “beautiful, innocent, second, third, fourth graders” and spoke of the scores of children at the school who saw their friends “die as if they are on the battlefield.” 

Biden also spoke as an adult who has lost children himself.

“To lose a child is like having a piece of your soul ripped away,” he said. “There’s a hollowness in your chest you feel like you’re being sucked into it… It’s never quite the same.” 

Biden urged Congress to pass common sense gun laws and expressed outrage over the way Americans seem to have grown inured to the “carnage” occurring around them every day. 

“These kinds of mass shootings rarely happen anywhere else in the world,” Biden said. “Why? They have mental health problems. They have domestic disputes in other countries. They have people who are lost. But these kinds of mass shootings never happen with the kind of frequency they happen in America. Why? Why are we willing to live with this carnage? Why do we keep letting this happen?”

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and billionaires wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2022 demands.

payment methods

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and billionaires wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2022 demands.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate