President Joe Biden asked to confront the arms industry lobby after the massacre at a school in Uvalde, Texas, which has so far left 19 children and two adults dead. “Why do we accept to live with this kind of massacres? Why do we let this continue to happen? It is time for us to turn this pain into action,” he said in a message to the nation.

Biden, who returned from a 17-hour plane ride from Asia, lamented having to deal with such a situation again as president. “Another massacre at a Texas elementary school. Beautiful, innocent children,” clearly visibly moved. “I’m sick and tired of this. We have to act. And don’t tell me that we can’t have an impact on these carnage,” in addition to calling for “courage” to stand up to the powerful arms industry and its multimillion-dollar profits.

The US president wondered “why this kind of massacre hardly happens anywhere else in the world. Why?”, nations where there are also “mental problems, domestic disputes, where people are lost”, but where they do not have to deal with these situations as frequently as in the first world power. “Losing a child,” he said, “is like having your soul ripped out, a hole in your chest that you feel swallows you and you can’t get out, suffocates you.”

Biden recalled the massacre at the Sandy Hook school in Connecticut almost 10 years ago, when a 20-year-old man killed 25 people, 20 of them young children. Since then, he noted, there have been 900 school shootings, sending a clear message to lawmakers to act and toughen gun sales laws at the federal level.

From Air Force One, Biden ordered flags to be flown at half-staff for the victims, a tragedy that prompted an immediate reaction from Vice President Kamala Harris. “Enough is enough,” said the Californian. “Our hearts continue to break. We have to act,” she along the same lines as the president.

The shooting on Tuesday has drawn condemnation from the US political class, with Democrats trying to revive the eternal gun control debate and Republicans avoiding touching the issue.

“What are we doing? We have more mass shootings than there are days in the year. Our children are scared every time they step foot in the classroom in case they are next. What are we doing?” Democratic Senator Chris Murphy lamented with the broken voice during the plenary session, shortly after the news broke.

The Connecticut representative, whose emotional speech was widely echoed on networks and television, stressed that such a number of school shootings “only happen” in the United States and that these tragedies “are not inevitable.”

And it is that the United States Congress has spent more than two decades without significantly limiting the possession of weapons, protected in the second amendment of the Constitution.

In that sense, former Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for more “legislators willing to stop the scourge of gun violence in the United States.”

“Thoughts and prayers are not enough. After years of doing nothing, we are becoming a nation full of cries of anguish,” he declared on social networks.

For his part, Democratic Congressman Dean Phillips said on social media that he owns a gun, but said the country’s founding fathers “didn’t conceive of this carnage when they wrote the Constitution.”

From the Republican ranks there were also condemnations for the massacre, but its main leaders avoided referring to the debate over gun control.

“Appalled and heartbroken by the disgusting violence against students in Uvalde, Texas, the entire country is praying for children, families, teachers and staff,” said the leader of the Republicans in the Senate, Mitch McConnell.

The governor of Texas himself, conservative Greg Abbott, who reported the massacre, described this tragedy as a “senseless crime.”

Meanwhile, Ted Cruz, a Republican senator from Texas, said he was praying for the minors and their families, and thanked the “heroic” work of the authorities who went to the scene of the shooting.

At least 18 children and a teacher died Tuesday after an 18-year-old boy entered an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and opened fire on his victims.

The assailant, whose motives are still unknown, was later shot by the police.

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