Biden travels to Texas to meet with families of school shooting victims

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will travel to Uvalde, Texas, on Sunday to meet with families of victims of the mass shooting at an elementary school there this week.

While there, Biden plans to speak with local officials and religious leaders, along with the victims’ families in an effort to show support for a community reeling from tragedy, the White House said.

It will be Biden’s second visit to the site of a mass shooting in as many weeks. Biden made a similar trip to Buffalo, New York, May 17 where he met with community leaders and victims’ families of a racially-motivated mass shooting at a grocery store in that city. 

The trip will give Biden an opportunity to once again call on Congress to pass legislation that would require universal background checks and ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

In recent days, Biden has increasingly pleaded for lawmakers to take action, accusing those who oppose new restrictions on firearms of caving to pressure from the gun industry and gun-rights advocates.

While a bipartisan group of lawmakers have restarted talks on passing some type of gun control bill there is little optimism in Washington that they will be able to get the 60 votes needed to pass even a slimmed down version of what Biden is calling for. 

When Biden arrives in Uvalde, he will be greeted by a city not only struggling with grief, but also unanswered questions about how the traffic event unfolded and the police response. Police there have faced criticism from both inside and outside the community for waiting about an hour before directly confronting the shooter.