Fri. Jul 1st, 2022

Former US President Barack Obama says America is “paralyzed” by the Republican party and the country’s powerful gun lobby, as the world reacts to a deadly shooting that claimed the lives of 19 children at an elementary school in Texas.

US authorities confirmed two adults were killed alongside children from grade two, three and four when an 18-year-old gunman opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, around 130 kilometers from San Antonio on Tuesday.

It is the deadliest shooting in Texas history, and occurred four years after a gunman shot and killed 10 people at Santa Fe High School in Houston.

It comes less than a fortnight after nine people were killed at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York.

The attack has been widely condemned, including by US President Joe Biden, who described it as a massacre and vowed to act on gun reform.

Former US President Barack Obama, who was in power when the mass shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut occurred in December 2012, said there was a renewed urgency for America to act on gun reform.

“Nearly 10 years after Sandy Hook – and 10 days after Buffalo – our country is paralyzed, not by fear, but by a gun lobby and a political party that have shown no willingness to act in any way that might help prevent these tragedies,” he said.

“It’s long past time for action, any kind of action. And it’s another tragedy – a quieter but no less tragic one – for families to wait another day.”

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Former President Bill Clinton stressed the need for leaders at all levels of government to find ways to protect children and communities across the country.

“Our elected leaders at the local, state and federal levels, regardless of party, must find common-sense ways to keep our children and communities safe,” Mr Clinton said.

“They can do so without touching the right to hunt, sport shoot, and keep guns for self-defense.

“Propaganda and paranoia have kept us from helping each other on this for too long. We can do – and be – better. The time to act is now.”

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy delivered an impassioned speech shortly after news of the Texas shooting broke.

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