WASHINGTON — President Biden mourned the victims of Monday’s mass shooting in Boulder, Colo., calling for “common sense” legislation on gun control in the wake of two such incidents in less than a week.
“As president, I’m going to use all the resources at my disposal to keep the American people safe,” Biden said Tuesday, addressing the Boulder shooting, which left 10 people dead at a supermarket. “Another American city has been scarred by gun violence.”
Biden said he had spoken to Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and planned to speak to Boulder Mayor Sam Weaver while on Air Force One later this afternoon.
While Biden acknowledged that many details surrounding Monday’s deadly shooting remain unknown, he said he is certain in his push to implement gun reform and called on the Senate to pass two recently green-lit House bills that close loopholes in the firearm purchasing process.
“I don’t need to wait another minute, let alone another hour, to take common sense steps that will save lives in the future and to urge my colleagues in the House and Senate to act,” Biden said. “We can ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines once again.”
The gunman, identified by police as 21-year-old Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa of Arvada, Colo., was charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder. Alissa’s brother told the Daily Beast on Tuesday that Alissa was “very antisocial” and in a constant state of paranoia, and claimed that his actions may have been motivated by mental illness. Alissa remains in police custody.
Biden ordered all flags at the White House to be flown at half-staff.
Vice President Kamala Harris called the shooting “absolutely baffling” after a swearing-in ceremony Tuesday morning.
“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,” Harris said, referring to Eric Talley, 51, a Boulder police officer who was killed after responding to a report of an armed man inside the supermarket.
The shooting in Boulder came not even a week after a gunman in the Atlanta area killed eight people, including six Asian women, at three separate locations.
In a statement released Tuesday, former President Barack Obama grieved for the victims’ families while calling for comprehensive gun control.
"A once-in-a-century pandemic cannot be the only thing that slows mass shootings in this country,” Obama said. “We shouldn’t have to choose between one type of tragedy and another. It’s time for leaders everywhere to listen to the American people when they say enough is enough.”
He continued: “It is long past time for those with the power to fight this epidemic of gun violence to do so. It will take time to root out the disaffection, racism and misogyny that fuels so many of these senseless acts of violence. But we can make it harder for those with hate in their hearts to buy weapons of war,” Obama said.
Boulder attempted to bring firearm reform to the city less than two weeks before the massacre. On March 12, a district court judge blocked its ban on the possession, transfer or sale of assault weapons and large-capacity magazines. A law enforcement source told CNN that an AR-15-style rifle was used for the shooting, though that was not publicly confirmed by police on Tuesday.
Read more from Yahoo News: