The desire to “bring a little comfort to the community”the president of the United States and the first lady, Joe and Jill Biden, decided to travel five days after the Uvalde school massacre, one of the deadliest in the recent history of the country, to the small town of Texas to offer their condolences to the families of the 21 fatal victims of the tragedy and to the survivors.
“As a nation, I think we should all be there for them”, advanced before his official visit this Sunday, a national holiday weekend in the United States for the celebration of “Memorial Day” (Memorial Day in English), which commemorates soldiers who have fallen in combat. “And we must ask ourselves when, in God’s name, will we do what needs to be done,” he added.
The plane of the president of the United States, Air Force One, landed in San Antonio after 10 in the morning. The Bidens, dressed in black, arrived in the Texas city located 150km from Uvalde to board the presidential helicopter, Marine One. A few minutes before 11 in the morning, Joe and Jill Biden arrived in Uvalde, where the state and local authorities awaited them.
Texas Governor and First Lady Greg and Cecilia Abbott; the Republican congressman for the 23rd district of Texas and former war veteran, Tony Gonzales; Texas Senator Roland Gutierrez; County Judge Bill Mitchell and Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin. The official delegation was joined by Uvalde County Independent School District Superintendent Hal Harrell and Mandy Gutierrez, the principal of Robb First School where the tragedy took place.
The presidential motorcade was greeted by a crowd, in which a young man holding a child in his arms he made the peace sign with his fingers. As the Biden couple passed by, welcomed by applause, they were received near the school by a blanket of white crosses with the names of each and every one of the victims of the massacre, welcoming Uvalde to the on-site entourage.
The president’s tears
The Bidens, shocked, left a bouquet of flowers at the memorial in honor of the victims of the school massacre, most of them minors between the ages of 8 and 11. It was then that, after a brief conversation with the superintendent and principal of the school, President Joe Biden He could be seen from afar wiping a tear from his face.
For several minutes and before heading to the ceremony at the Church for the farewell mass, the Biden couple walked through the place of remembrance that the town had prepared in honor of the 21 fatalities, stopping to read the names and even touch their Photographs.
“We need help!”shouts were heard from the crowd as Governor Abbott walked by. The sadness and uncertainty of the first hours have been turning into pain and indication with the passing of days as more details of a tragedy that in all probability could have been avoided are known.
This is revealed by the investigation that at first was carried out in a dropper and both local and state authorities have been forced to recognize: the Uvalde Police acted too late. Multiple recorded emergency calls to 911 from inside the school have shown that it took more than an hour to get inside to rescue the minors and their teachers from the deadly threat of active shooter, Salvador Ramos, whose attack was treated as kidnapping. with hostages.
The mother of one of the victims of the massacre denounced that their daughter could have been saved if they had acted in time, instead of waiting the hour and a half that the witnesses assure, they waited anciently at the doors of the educational center. “Her daughter had been shot in the back through the kidney area,” explained Democratic Senator Roland Gutiérrez, so she could have survived if the police had broken into the classroom earlier.
The Department of Justice of the United States will investigate the police action of the Uvalde shooting with the goal of “providing an independent account of the actions and responses of law enforcement that day and identifying lessons learned and best practices” for future application.
But, pending what the US Congress decides to do at the federal level, some states in the country have not wanted to wait to impose restrictions on the control of the use of weapons. New Jersey, New York and California announce imposition soon measures to limit the use of weapons such as raising the legal age to buy them, exposing manufacturers to civil lawsuits or prohibiting the purchase of assault rifles.
Limits to the Second Amendment
The Democratic president has a great challenge ahead of him in the coming months to keep his word. The countdown to the decisive mid-term elections, the “midterms”, has already begun. And, although Biden already advanced his intentions to promote restrictions that allow greater control over the relatively easy access to firearms in the country, the tenant of the White House also knows that his political rivals will do everything in their power to prevent that objective.
“The Second Amendment is not absolute”Biden said this week after the massacre, alluding to the “constitutional right to keep and bear arms” and as a first declaration of intent. A large part of the US population is opposed to promoting measures that deprive individual freedom and establish changes in the country’s constitutional foundations, but the US president recalled that when the amendment was approved “you could not own a cannon” or certain types of weapons. weapons. “There have always been limitations”Biden added.
And it seems that the shots will go there. The Democratic leader is expected to focus much of his efforts in the coming weeks on trying to convince the Republican opposition to pass bipartisan measures that limit the sale of assault rifles and other firearms used in war, such as AR-15 rifles. that the perpetrators of the recent massacres used and that are now legally in the hands of the civilian population.