Colorado grocery store shooting reignites call for gun control in Washington

EXCLUSIVE: President Joe Biden demanded action from Congress; Vice President Kamala Harris called the mass shooting 'absolutely baffling'

President Joe Biden said with urgency “we have to act” on gun control in his first public comments from the White House Dining Room on the horrific grocery store shooting Monday in Boulder, Colorado.  

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks about Monday’s mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado, in the State Dining Room at the White House on March 23, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

He also strongly demanded the U.S. Senate act on two most recent House bills on closing gun loopholes. In his statement, President Biden also called for a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. 

Read More: Investigation into ‘complex’ Colorado shooting will take at least 5 days, chief says

The president also offered to those who are mourning the loss of their loved ones from yesterdays shooting is “my heart goes out.”

Vice President Kamala Harris on Tuesday called the deadly grocery store shooting “absolutely baffling.” The attack left 10 people dead, including a police officer who was responding to the scene, and victims range in age from their 20’s to their 60’s.

“It’s 10 people going about their day living their lives, not bothering anybody. A police officer who is performing his duties, and with great courage and heroism,” said Vice President Harris.

The Boulder grocery store shooting marks the 7th mass shooting in seven days. 

In Washington, gun control is on the schedule. The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing on gun violence and the House passed legislation expanding background checks on March 11.

The nation is knocking on 10 years since the push for gun control took full force. The biggest hurdle for getting “common-sense gun reform” has been The National Rifle Association (NRA). The expectation is that nothing new will happen after this latest deadly shooting. A common sentiment is that no new gun control will materialize from the latest tragedy since nothing happened after 20 young school children and six adults were shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary in December of 2012.

Read More: 10 people killed at Colorado supermarket, police say

John Hudak, senior fellow at the Brookings Institute said there needs to be a “holistic approach” with all ideas combined into one comprehensive policy to address these repeated deadly phenomena. 

“It is not as simple as putting background checks into place, it is not as simple as putting money into mental health care. It’s not as simple as trying to make sure that people who have committed dangerous acts in the past don’t have access to weapons,” Hudack told theGrio.

Former Indianapolis Police Chief Rick Hite asked, “What is going to disturb us to the point of action?”

Former Indianapolis Police Chief Rick Hite. (Photo: Fox 59)

Two of the issues Hite said are in play with these types of deadly incidents are that “we have to look at the mental health of our country … We have to look at the motivation and impetus.”

Hudak added, “as a society, we need to take a deep breath and think about all of the causes that go into not just an individual event but the repeated events that we are seeing.”

As the issues of gun control policy are discussed, the pain of the aftermath of the most recent mass shooting is being felt in Colorado and beyond. 

In a lengthy statement released on Tuesday, former President Barack Obama called on the country to “make it harder for those with hate in their hearts to by weapons of war” and called gun control reform “long past time.”

“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,” said President Obama. “We should be able to live our lives without wondering if the next trip outside our home could be our last.”

Barack Obama
Former U.S. President Barack Obama speaks to guests at the Obama Foundation Summit on the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology on October 29, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Hite said his heart went out to Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold who spoke about 51-year-old police officer Eric Talley who was responding to the shooting when he was killed in the massacre. Officer Talley was the first officer on the scene responding to the shooting when he was fatally shot. 

Hite recalled losing three police officers under his watch while he was police chief in Indianapolis, saying he remembers to this day each one of their names and faces.

Chief Maris Herold said they will bring justice to all of the families of those lost.

The suspect has been charged with 10 counts of murder in the first degree.

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