US President Joe Biden on Monday marked the fourth anniversary of the deadly shooting at a Florida school that left 17 people dead, and urged Congress to do more on ending gun violence.
“It was the deadliest high school shooting in a nation with far too many of them, and it left another community — and our country — shattered by grief,” said Biden in a statement.
“We can never bring back those we’ve lost. But we can come together to fulfill the first responsibility of our government and our democracy: to keep each other safe,” he said, adding: “For Parkland, for all those we’ve lost, and for all those left behind, it is time to uphold that solemn obligation.”
On Feb. 14, 2018, a gunman, 23-year-old Nikolas Cruz, killed 14 students and three educators at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Cruz last October pleaded guilty to murdering the 17 victims, and a jury trial is expected to begin this year to decide whether he would be put to death or get life in prison.
The US president recalled his plan last year to reduce gun crime violence, including cracking down on gun dealers who violate laws.
He also asked the Congress to pass a budget that provides an additional half billion dollars to fight gun violence.
“And Congress must do much more — beginning with requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and eliminating immunity for gun manufacturers,” said the US president.
Earlier in the morning, a father of a student killed in the shooting was detained by police for climbing atop of a construction crane near the White House.
Unfurling a banner showing an image of his son, Joaquin Oliver, then-17 years old, father Manuel Oliver called on Biden administration to address gun control in a video of him posted on Twitter.
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