President Joe Biden has called on Republican members of Congress to pass gun control laws in the wake of yet another mass shooting that left nine people, including the gunman, dead at a Texas mall on Saturday.
The shooter was named Sunday as Mauricio Garcia, 33, according to two senior law enforcement officials who spoke to NBC News.
The US president renewed his calls to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, as well as implement universal background checks and end immunity for gun manufacturers.
There’s little chance the Republican-controlled House or the strictly Democratic Senate will pass such legislation, despite polls showing that most Americans support background checks.
The president said the assailant wore tactical gear and was armed with an AR-15-style assault weapon.
To know more:
Sparks from mass shooting in California call for tighter gun control
Congressmen clash over gun laws after latest school shooting
“Guns don’t have the ability to commit crimes,” the sheriff says
“Such an attack is too shocking to be so familiar. Yet, American communities have experienced about 200 mass shootings already this year, according to major tallies,” said Biden, who ordered flags lowered to half-staff.
Garcia killed eight people, including children, and wounded at least sevenbefore a police officer shot him dead.
According to law enforcement officials who spoke to NBC News, Garcia has interacted with neo-Nazi and white supremacist content online, as well as posting such content.
He also reportedly had several social media accounts, and authorities found a right-wing acronym patch on his chest.
Law enforcement officials have not released details on the identity of the victims.
“We don’t have anything that we’re ready to release right now,” Allen Police Department Staff Sergeant Jonathan Maness told Reuters. “There are a lot of moving parts here.”
Officials said three people transported to area hospitals were in critical condition, while four had been stabilized.
There have been at least 199 mass shootings in the United States so far in 2023, the most at this point in the year since at least 2016, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, called the shooting “devastating” in a Sunday morning interview on Fox News, but said the way to deal effectively with gun violence is to address mental health.
“There has been a dramatic increase in the amount of anger and violence that is happening in America,” he said. “We’re working to address that anger and violence by going to its root cause, which is addressing the mental health issues behind it.”