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On Thursday, the White House announced that President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden would travel to Uvalde, Texas, to "grieve with the community that lost 21 lives in the horrific elementary school shooting."
On Tuesday, Salvador Rolando Ramos, an 18-year-old U.S. citizen, shot and killed 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in the Uvalde neighborhood.
In a speech from the White House on Tuesday night, the U.S. president said that "the idea that an 18-year-old kid can walk into a gun store and buy two assault weapons is just wrong."
Biden has appealed to the country's influential gun lobby and urged Congress to pass gun control legislation in the face of rising gun-related violence. Indeed, Senate Republicans have signaled their willingness to dialogue with Democrats on long-stalled gun legislation on Capitol Hill.
Nationwide protests have taken place in the U.S. in the wake of school mass shootings. Students at more than 200 schools in at least 34 states walked out to protest the Uvalde massacre.
Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the National Rifle Association's annual convention in Houston, Texas, on May 27, 2022, in remembrance of the victims of the May 24 Uvalde mass shooting.#TedCruz#GovernorAbbott - Failed Texas pic.twitter.com/PblBKc9tWk
Founder of the gun control advocacy group Moms Demand Action, Shannon Watts, said that "parents across the rest of the developed world kiss their kids goodbye as they head off to school and don't have to give it a second thought because they don't have 400 million guns flooding their streets, homes, and schools," adding that "this is a uniquely American crisis."
According to an online database that tracks incidents of gun violence in the country, there have been at least 214 mass shootings in the U.S. so far this year. Over 17 000 people have died in gun-related incidents nationwide during the past five months, of which at least 653 are estimated to have been minors.