Biden on Texas Mass Shooting: “Why Are We Willing to Live With This Carnage?”

In a short and furious national address, an openly despairing president called for action.

Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

In a brief address Tuesday night, following the senseless massacre of at least 18 children and a teacher at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, a beleaguered Joe Biden asked the nation “when in God’s name” America would stand up to the gun lobby. 

He mourned “beautiful, innocent, second, third, fourth graders” and spoke of the scores of children at the school who saw their friends “die as if they are on the battlefield.” 

Biden also spoke as an adult who has lost children himself.

“To lose a child is like having a piece of your soul ripped away,” he said. “There’s a hollowness in your chest you feel like you’re being sucked into it… It’s never quite the same.” 

Biden urged Congress to pass common sense gun laws and expressed outrage over the way Americans seem to have grown inured to the “carnage” occurring around them every day. 

“These kinds of mass shootings rarely happen anywhere else in the world,” Biden said. “Why? They have mental health problems. They have domestic disputes in other countries. They have people who are lost. But these kinds of mass shootings never happen with the kind of frequency they happen in America. Why? Why are we willing to live with this carnage? Why do we keep letting this happen?”

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate