Five days after the shooting in an elementary school, Joe Biden is going to the Texas town of Uvalde this Sunday to bring all his empathy to the loved ones bereaved by this tragedy which shocked America. “You can’t make dramas illegal, I know that. But we can make America safer,” the President of the United States pleaded on Saturday, regretting that “in so many places, so many innocent people have died”.
Arriving at the scene of the killing around 6 p.m., Joe Biden laid wreaths in front of the school, in the middle of a bed of flowers and stuffed animals. At the exit of the church where the democratic president, practicing Catholic, and his wife Jill Biden had just attended a mass, several voices chanted: “Do something”! “We will do it,” replied the president quickly, before going to meet the families of the victims and the rescuers. He planned to spend several hours in their company, away from the cameras and the eyes.
Nineteen children and two teachers died Tuesday in the Robb school in Uvalde under the bullets of Salvador Ramos, 18, one of the worst shootings in recent years in the country. The 79-year-old Democrat, who himself lost two of his children – his still baby daughter in a car accident, and an adult son following cancer – spoke of his own suffering shortly after the killing.
A call to “oppose the gun lobby”
“Losing a child is like having a part of your soul ripped out of you. Nothing is ever the same again, ”he said on Tuesday, he who lost a daughter still a baby in a car accident, and a son from cancer in adulthood. Joe Biden will therefore be able to embrace the pain of families, and perhaps soothe it a little.
But despite his empathy and pleas to stand up to the “gun lobby”, he can do little in a country where the subject, even after a massacre, sparks irreconcilable divisions.
The too narrow Democratic parliamentary majority does not allow him to pass significant legislation on the subject alone. The elected representatives of his camp need to convince a few Republicans to obtain the necessary majority.
The White House, reluctant to involve Joe Biden too much in the political battle, said Thursday that it “needs the help of Congress”, through the voice of its spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre. A message echoed by Vice President Kamala Harris, who said on Saturday that elected officials must “have the courage to oppose, once and for all, the gun lobby, and pass reasonable security laws in firearms”.
“I think he was aiming at me”
The Uvalde massacre and the childlike faces of its very young victims plunged America back into the nightmare of school shootings. The inhabitants of this small town, in the center of which stands a memorial in honor of the victims, now think of the grief of the survivors.
The first testimonies of the students who emerged alive from the Robb school gave a glimpse of the nightmare they lived through. Upon entering the room, the shooter told the children, “You’re all going to die,” before opening fire, 10-year-old Samuel Salinas told ABC.
“I think he was aiming at me,” testified the young boy, but a chair between him and the shooter blocked the bullet. In the room on the floor covered in blood, Samuel Salinas, in order not to be targeted by the shots, tried to “play dead”. Another student, Daniel, told The Washington Post that while the victims waited for the police to come rescue them, no one shouted. “I was scared and stressed, because the bullets almost hit me. »
VIDEO. Police admit mistake in responding to Uvalde shooting
The children who survived “are traumatized, and they will have to live with that all their lives,” said his mother, Briana Ruiz. It took about an hour on Tuesday for the police to put an end to the massacre. The 19 agents on site awaited the assault of a specialized unit. A delay in intervention which caused a strong controversy, and a mea culpa from the Texas authorities.