Wednesday’s mass shooting in San Jose, California, is a grim reminder of the need for Congress to take action on America’s gun violence epidemic, President Joe Biden said in the hours after the ordeal.
“Every life that is taken by a bullet pierces the soul of our nation. We can, and we must, do more,” Biden said in a statement.
A lone gunman opened fire Wednesday morning at a rail yard serving Santa Clara County and killed eight people. The gunman, an employee of the Valley Transportation Authority, was among the dead, authorities said. Court records obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle showed the man had been accused of raping and abusing an ex-girlfriend.
“Once again, I urge Congress to take immediate action and heed the call of the American people, including the vast majority of gun owners, to help end this epidemic of gun violence in America,” Biden added.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) also pointed to the shooting as a reminder of the need for better gun violence measures.
“We are resolved to bring meaning to this tragic moment with real action to curb the gun violence crisis in our country,” he said in a statement. “We must address the root causes of these devastating acts at every level of government.”
The San Jose shooting is the latest in a series of major gun violence incidents this year, some of which took place just days apart.
“I have the solemn duty yet again of ordering the flag to be lowered at half-staff, just weeks after doing so following the mass shootings at spas in and around Atlanta; in a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado; at a home in Rock Hill, South Carolina; and at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Indiana,” Biden said.
Though most far-reaching gun control legislation must be handled by Congress, Biden signed a suite of executive orders last month directing the Justice Department to crack down on the proliferation of guns, including “ghost guns” that are assembled by kits and are harder for authorities to trace.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.