STORY: Residents of Uvalde, Texas began laying to rest the 21 children and teachers killed in last week’s mass shooting.
Grieving family members and friends entered a Catholic church on Tuesday for the funeral of 10-year-old Amerie Jo Garza… who, according to an obituary, was sweet, sassy, funny and who loved swimming and drawing.
Maite Yuleana Rodriguez – a 10-year-old honor student who loved whales and dolphins and who dreamed of becoming a marine biologist – was also laid to rest on Tuesday.
The young girls were killed along with 17 other students, all aged 9 to 11, and two teachers by a gunman who burst into their fourth-grade classroom and opened fire with a high-velocity AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle.
While Uvalde grieves, President Joe Biden on Tuesday said he planned to meet with lawmakers in Congress about guns.
“There is an awful lot of suffering”
Speaking during a White House meeting with New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Biden said much of the violence is preventable:
"I've been to more mass shooting aftermaths than I think any president in American history, unfortunately... Much of it is preventable.”
Many Democrats, including Biden - who traveled to Uvalde on Sunday to comfort the town - have called for more restrictions, including a ban on assault-style weapons and universal background checks.
Republicans have successfully held off tougher gun laws.
White House Press Secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre:
"Look, the president has done everything that he can from the federal government. We are looking at other executive actions that we can possibly do. (flash) but it's not up to him alone."
In Texas, the elementary school shooter was legally able to buy his weapon on his 18th birthday, a week before the massacre.
He bought hundreds of rounds of ammunition and a second rifle in the days that followed.