WALDE, Texas – President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will travel to Uwalde, Texas, on Sunday to comfort families and honor victims of a mass shooting at a school Tuesday that killed 19 children and two teachers.

The White House said Biden would “mourn the community that lost 21 lives in the shooting at Rob Elementary School.” Spokeswoman Caryn Jean-Pierre said the president would meet with the community, religious leaders and the families of the victims.

Jean-Pierre, the father of an elementary school student, made a fervent request at the White House for lawmakers to come together to fight gun use.

“These were elementary school children, they should lose their first teeth, not lose their lives,” she said.

Asked about the appropriateness of the National Rifle Association, which plans to hold a conference in Houston this weekend, Jean-Pierre said: “What is absurd is that the leadership of the National Rifle Association has repeatedly proved that they contribute to the problem of gun violence rather than trying to solve it. ”

“It is a shame that the NRA and their allies are thwarting any attempt to take measures that, as we all know, will save lives,” she said.

Jean-Pierre echoed Biden, who in his speech Tuesday night spoke from personal experience about the pain of losing a child and called on the country to tighten gun laws in response to the shooting.

“When, for God’s sake, are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?” he said. “Why are we willing to live with this massacre? Why do we continue to allow this to happen?”

on the topic: Uwalde school shooting: how the deadly shooting at school unfolded

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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