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America's schools have become 'killing fields', Joe Biden warns after mass shootings
3 June 2022, 07:38 | Updated: 3 June 2022, 09:26
American schools have been turned into "killing fields", Joe Biden has warned as he implored politicians to ban assault-style weapons.
His emotional plea followed the tragedies at a school in Texas, where 19 pupils were killed with two teachers, and an attack in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where a gunman killed four people and then himself at a medical complex.
The shootings have reopened the gun control debate in the US, with pro-gun advocates insisting the killings are being politicised while opponents accuse them of failing to act and stop the violence.
President Biden declared "enough, enough" as he warned outraged voters could home in on the issue during the midterm elections in November.
He said "guns are the number one killer of children in the United States of America", ahead of car crashes, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
"Over the last two decades, more school-age children have died from guns than on-duty police officers and active-duty military - combined," he added.
"How much more carnage are we willing to accept?" he asked, saying America's schools, supermarkets and everyday places had turned into "killing fields".
"Don't tell me raising the age won't make a difference."
The shootings in Uvalde, Texas, by an 18-year-old gunman, and the attack in Tulsa followed an assault on a supermarket in Buffalo, New York.
A white 18-year-old wearing military gear livestreamed the violence in the predominantly black neighbourhood on a helmet camera as he opened fire with a rifle, killing 10 people and wounding three more.
Authorities called it "racially motivated violent extremism".
Mr Biden, looking to crank up pressure on Congress to pass stricter limits on guns, repeated calls for a ban on assault-style weapons and high capacity magazines.
If legislators prove unable to pass such reforms, he said they should try and compromise by stopping people with mental health issues from buying weapons or raising the minimum age for buying assault-style weapons from 18 to 21.
"This time we have to take the time to do something," Mr Biden said, focusing on the Senate, where 10 Republicans would need to support the legislation.
"I know how hard it is, but I'll never give up, and if Congress fails, I believe this time a majority of the American people won't give up either," he added.
"I believe the majority of you will act to turn your outrage into making this issue central to your vote."