“This time, we have to take the time to do something.”
US President Joe Biden has delivered a passionate speech to Congress calling for action on gun control.
“Enough, enough,” he said, as he explained how gun violence and mass shootings have turned schools, supermarkets and other everyday places into “killing fields”.
It comes after last week’s shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, where an 18-year-old gunman killed 19 students and two teachers.
“How much more carnage are we willing to accept?” Biden asked. “Don’t tell me raising the age won’t make a difference.”
Biden said he wants to put more pressure on Congress to pass stricter gun limits after such efforts failed following past attacks.
He repeated calls to restore a ban on the sale of assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines, saying that if Congress refuses all of his proposals, it must at least find compromises – like keeping guns from people with mental health issues or raising the age to buy assault weapons from to 21.
Another mass shooting came before the events of 24 May, in Buffalo, New York. On 15 May, an 18-year-old wearing military gear opened fire with a rifle at a supermarket in a predominantly Black neighbourhood, killing 10 people and wounding three others. Authorities described the attack as “racially motivated violent extremism”.
He had been livestreaming with a helmet camera.
Biden concluded his address by saying: “I know how hard it is, but I’ll never give up, and if Congress fails, I believe this time a majority of the American people won’t give up either.
“I believe the majority of you will act to turn your outrage into making this issue central to your vote.”
All major US networks cut away from scheduled programming to broadcast Biden’s speech at 7:30pm.