Biden Reflects on Columbine 25 Years Later, Calls for Legislative Action on Gun Control

President Joe BidenPresident Joe Biden listens during a weekly by The White House Baiden-Harris is licensed under CC-CC0 1.0

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On the 25th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre, President Joe Biden issued a poignant reminder of the day that reshaped America’s conversation around gun violence and school safety. In a statement released today, Biden recalled the horror of April 20, 1999, when two students armed with assault weapons entered their Colorado high school, leaving 13 dead and transforming classrooms into crime scenes.

“Twenty-five years ago today, two students walked into Columbine High School with assault weapons and other firearms they obtained without background checks,” Biden said. He and First Lady Jill Biden sent prayers to the survivors and families affected by the tragedy, acknowledging the enduring pain of a community forever altered.

The president highlighted the grim reality that since Columbine, over 400 school shootings have occurred, affecting over 370,000 students nationwide. From Newtown, Connecticut, to Parkland, Florida, to Uvalde, Texas, Biden lamented the cycle of violence that has torn apart communities and forced students to learn active shooter drills alongside their ABCs.

“This violence must end,” Biden asserted, recounting his meetings with families devastated by gun violence. Their unified message to him: “Do something.”

Biden detailed his administration’s efforts to address this epidemic, noting the creation of the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention and the signing of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. Additionally, he highlighted a recent expansion of gun background check requirements aimed at closing loopholes exploited by the Columbine shooters and others to obtain firearms.

Despite these measures, Biden emphasized the need for further legislative action, calling on Congress to enact universal background checks, a national red flag law, and a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. “We need Congress to do something—do something—so that communities won’t continue to suffer due to the epidemic of gun violence,” he urged.

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The Columbine shooting remains one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history, sparking a nationwide debate on gun control and school safety that continues to this day. As the nation reflects on this dark chapter, Biden’s statement serves as both a memorial to the lives lost and a call to action, urging lawmakers to take concrete steps to prevent future tragedies.

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