Here’s where the day stands so far:
The blog will have more coming up, so stay tuned.
Joe Biden is now en route to Columbus, Ohio, for a trip aimed at highlighting some of the benefits of the coronavirus relief package.
The president did not respond to reporters’ shouted questions about visiting Colorado as he made his way to Marine One.
After delivering his brief remarks on the Boulder shooting at the White House, Biden told reporters that he would have more information later on introducing new gun control legislation in Congress.
Joe Biden called on the Senate to pass the two background checks bills that the Democratic-controlled House approved earlier this month.
The bills would help close loopholes in the background checks system used before purchases of firearms.
But it’s unclear whether the bills can make it through the evenly divided Senate, given Republicans’ general opposition to gun restrictions.
Biden also called on Congress to pass another assault weapons ban, but such legislation would likely face even more Republican opposition.
The president noted that he worked on the original assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004, when he was a senator from Delaware in the 1990’s.
Joe Biden delivered brief remarks on yesterday’s shooting in Boulder, Colorado, which claimed the lives of 10 people.
The president said he had been briefed by the attorney general and the director of the FBI on the situation. He also remains in close contact with state and local law enforcement to receive updates on the investigation.
Biden said he would not speculate on the shooter’s motivation, but he pledged to use “all the resources at my disposal to keep the American people safe”.
The president expressed his condolences to the families of the 10 victims, whose “futures were stolen from them”.
“Our hearts go out to the survivors who had to flee for their lives,” Biden said. “The consequences of all this are deeper than I suspect we know.”
Biden also expressed his “deepest thanks to the heroic police and other first responders,” who were called to the scene of the shooting.
“I commend the exceptional bravery of Officer Eric Talley,” Biden said, referring to the police officer who died in the shooting. “That’s the definition of an American hero.”
Shifting to the need for stricter gun regulations, Biden called on Congress to close the loopholes in the background checks system and once again ban assault weapons. He specifically urged the Senate to pass the two background checks bills that the House approved earlier this month.
“I don’t need to wait another minute, let alone an hour, to take common-sense steps that will save lives in the future,” Biden said. “This is not and should not be a partisan issue. It is an American issue.”
The White House has released Joe Biden’s formal proclamation calling on government flags to be lowered to half-staff in honor of the Boulder shooting victims.
The president said the flags, which were raised just yesterday after the Atlanta shooting last week, will remain at half-staff until Saturday at sunset.
The proclamation says:
As a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence perpetrated on March 22, 2021, in Boulder, Colorado, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, March 27, 2021. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.
Barack Obama has released a statement on the mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado, calling on lawmakers to take action to prevent such tragedies in the future.
The former Democratic president expressed condolences to the families affected by the supermarket shooting, which claimed 10 lives yesterday.
“We should be able to buy groceries without fear. We should be able to go to school, or go out with our friends, or worship together without mentally planning our escape if someone shows up with a gun,” Obama said. “But in America, we can’t.”
The former president added, “A once-in-a-century pandemic cannot be the only thing that slows mass shootings in this country. … It’s time for leaders everywhere to listen to the American people when they say enough is enough — because this is a normal we can no longer afford.”
Joe Biden is expected to deliver brief remarks on the shooting in just a few minutes, before leaving for a trip to Ohio.
Chuck Schumer, the Senate majority leader, has pledged to bring legislation for universal background checks on gun purchases to the Senate floor.
“This unrelenting epidemic of gun violence steals innocent lives with alarming regularity in America,” Schumer said. “I will bring universal background checks legislation to the Senate floor.”
The Democratic-controlled House passed two background checks bills earlier this month, but it’s unclear whether those proposals can pass the evenly divided Senate.
With the Senate filibuster in place, Democrats need to convince 10 of their Republican colleagues to support the bills in order to get them passed.
That will likely be a rather difficult task for Democrats. If the bills fail to pass, Schumer may face increased pressure to eliminate the filibuster, although he currently does not have the votes to do so.
House speaker Nancy Pelosi demanded that lawmakers take action to confront gun violence, after a shooting in Boulder resulted in 10 deaths.
“The hearts of all Americans are with the Boulder community and loved ones of those killed in yesterday’s horrific shooting, including a Boulder police officer. We offer our prayers to all those impacted and our gratitude to the heroic first responders,” the Democratic speaker said in a statement.
Pelosi noted that, earlier this month, House Democrats passed two bills aimed at expanding background checks before gun purchases. It’s unclear whether those bills can make it through the evenly divided Senate.
“Too many families in too many places are being forced to endure this unfathomable pain and anguish. Action is needed now to prevent this scourge from continuing to ravage our communities,” Pelosi said.
“While we await further information on the details of this heinous crime, we continue to stand with victims, families and young people across the country saying, ‘Enough is enough.’”
Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton offered her condolences to the families of the 10 victims in the Boulder shooting.
“Getting back to normal in America cannot mean getting back to regular mass shootings,” Clinton said in a tweet. “We simply can’t let this continue to be who we are.”
2020 was an usually quiet year for mass shootings in America, as much of the country was subject to restrictions on gatherings in order to limit the spread of coronavirus.
But with many states starting to relax restrictions as vaccinations increase, gun safety advocates have warned the country could see a rise in mass shootings.
Those warnings have become reality in the past week, with shootings in Atlanta and Boulder collectively claiming 18 lives.
Joe Biden had previously ordered that White House flags be flown at half-staff for the victims of the Atlanta shooting.
The flags were to remain at half-staff for the eight victims of that shooting until Monday at sunset.
As the sun was about to set in Washington yesterday, a shooter attacked a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, leaving 10 people dead. The flags will now be lowered for the victims of that tragedy.