Washington: US President Joe Biden said he was “devastated” by the shooting a day earlier at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, that killed 10 people, urging the Senate to immediately pass the bills on gun reform recently approved by the House.
“Ten lives have been lost, and more families have been shattered by gun violence in the state of Colorado,” Biden said in remarks from the White House on Tuesday. “And (first lady) Jill and I are devastated, the feeling, I just can’t imagine how the families are feeling,” he added, Xinhua news agency reported.
On Monday afternoon, a shooter identified on Tuesday as 21-year-old Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa opened fire at the King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, killing 10 people, among them a police officer who was the first to respond to the situation.
The carnage came less than a week after eight people, many of whom were Asian women, were killed in a shooting spree in the Atlanta area in Georgia.
In addition to 51-year-old Eric Talley, the deceased police officer, the identities of the remaining nine victims were also revealed Tuesday morning by the police.
While praising the heroism of the slain officer, Biden urged the Senate to immediately pass two bills on gun reform recently approved by the House.
“I don’t need to wait another minute, let alone an hour, to take common sense steps that will save lives in the future,” said Biden, who shortly before the speech ordered that flags be flown at half-mast to honor the victims.
“The Senate should immediately pass, let me say it again, the United States Senate, I hope some are listening, should immediately pass the two House-passed bills that close loopholes in the background check system. These are bills that received votes with both Republicans and Democrats in the House. This is not and should not be a partisan issue. This is an American issue. It will save lives. American lives. We have to act,” Biden added.
Earlier this month, the House passed the Bipartisan Background Checks Act and Enhanced Background Checks Act, respectively. Both of the bills passed almost by party-line votes, with very few Republicans’ support.
Also on Tuesday, the atmosphere of an ongoing hearing on gun control in the Senate grew intense right at the beginning, as Democrats accused Republicans of having no solution for gun violence and GOP senators fired back by blaming the Democrats for pushing gun reform every time a shooting incident happened.