- The Washington Times - Monday, March 27, 2023

President Biden on Monday decried gun violence in America just hours after a shooter killed three children and three staff members at a private school in Nashville, calling it “sick” and a “family’s worst nightmare.”

“We have to do more to stop gun violence. It’s ripping our communities apart, ripping at the very soul of this nation. We have to do more to protect our schools so they aren’t turned into prisons,” Mr. Biden said.

Mr. Biden departed from his scripted remarks during a women’s business summit to address the shooting. He said the shooting was “heartbreaking.”

He reiterated his call for Congress to pass legislation banning assault weapons. He also called for increased mental health services for victims’ families and survivors of such tragedies.

“It’s about time that we begin to make some more progress,” Mr. Biden said on curbing gun violence in America.

First lady Jill Biden, also addressed the Nashville shooting at a separate event with leaders of U.S. cities.

SEE ALSO: Female shooter kills six at Christian school in Nashville; police kill suspect

“I am truly without words. Our children deserve better. We stand, all of us, we stand with Nashville in prayer,” the first lady said.

Assault weapons are a vague term to describe military-style semiautomatic rifles such as AR-15s, which are one of the most popular rifles sold in the U.S. A ban remains a controversial ideal that likely won’t gain support in the Republican-run House.

A study by the National Institute of Justice, which is a division inside the Department of Justice, reported that most mass shootings do not involve rifles. The study, released in February 2022, found that handguns were used in 77% of mass shootings.

The suspected Nashville shooter, a 28-year-old woman, was wielding two “assault-style” rifles and a pistol during the rampage, according to police. A motive is not known.

The suspect, who has yet to be identified, was shot by police during the rampage at the Covenant School, a Presbyterian school for about 200 students from preschool to sixth grade.

Mr. Biden this month signed an executive order aimed at increasing gun background checks by expanding the definition of a firearms dealer. That would make more people who sell firearms at gun shows required to perform background checks on gun buyers.

SEE ALSO: White House calls for assault rifle ban in wake of Nashville school shooting

He signed the order in Monterey Park, California where a gunman killed 11 people in January during the Lunar New Year celebrations.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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