UPDATE 1-Biden heads to Texas town crushed by deadliest mass school shooting in a decade

President Joe Biden traveled to a Texas town on Sunday to comfort families torn apart by the largest US school shooting in a decade amid lingering questions about whether law enforcement’s inability to acting quickly contributed to the death toll. Biden’s familiar role as chief comforter will be complicated by local anger over a decision by law enforcement in Uvalde, Texas, to allow the shooter to remain in a classroom for nearly a year. hour while officers waited in the hallway and children in the bedroom made panicked calls to 911 for help.

On Saturday, investigators were looking to determine how critical errors were made in the response to the shooting that killed 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School, and some are calling on the FBI to investigate the actions of the police. Biden is to visit a memorial erected at the school and meet with families of victims, survivors and first responders.

“He needs to stay focused on the pain and grief of the families and the community and understand that all of this has been compounded by the fact that we still don’t know exactly what happened. The more we learn, the more it seems that the children were underserved,” said Karen Finney, Democratic strategist and spokesperson for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. The Democratic president also faces the stark reality that he has been relatively powerless to stop US mass shootings or convincing Republicans that tighter gun controls could stem the carnage.

The visit to Texas will be his third presidential trip to a mass shooting site, including earlier this month when he traveled to Buffalo, New York, after a supermarket shooting that left 10 people dead. “Too much violence, too much fear, too much heartbreak,” Biden told graduates during a commencement address Saturday at the University of Delaware. “We can’t ban tragedy, I know that, but we can make America safer. We can finally do what we need to do to protect people’s lives and our children’s lives.”

The Uvalde shooting has once again put gun control at the top of the national agenda, months before November’s midterm elections, supporters of tougher gun laws claiming that the latest bloodshed represents a tipping point. “The president has a real opportunity. The country is desperate for a leader to stop the slaughter of gun violence,” said Igor Volsky, executive director of Guns Down America.

He urged Biden to immediately enlist a senior official to tackle the nation’s gun problem and to criss-cross the United States to pressure Congress to pass meaningful gun reform, saying that Biden promised to be a deal maker and go after the guns. Vice President Kamala Harris called for a ban on assault weapons during a trip to Buffalo on Saturday, saying that following two consecutive mass shootings, these weapons are “a weapon of war” that ” has no place in a civil society.

White House aides and close allies say Biden is unlikely to embark on specific policy proposals to avoid disrupting delicate gun control negotiations in the Senate. He’s also unlikely to take immediate executive action to crack down on guns, sending otherwise open-minded Republican lawmakers back to their corners, aides say. Meanwhile, leading Republicans like U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and former President Donald Trump have dismissed calls for new gun control measures and suggested investing in health care instead. mental health or to make schools across the country safer.

Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott denied that recently enacted Texas gun laws, including a controversial measure removing license requirements for carrying a concealed weapon, had “any relevance” to the Tuesday’s bloodshed. He suggested state lawmakers pay renewed attention to tackling mental illness. (Reporting by Jarrett Renshaw and Heather Timmons; additional writing by Susan Heavey; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Hugh Lawson)

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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