Gun violence erupted in America again on Tuesday as a mass shooting at an elementary school in Texas left at least 19 children dead and three adults dead. 

It is being considered as the deadliest elementary school shooting since the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting that left at least 26 people dead. Tuesday’s shooting came just 10 days after after the events in Buffalo, New York where 10 grocery shoppers, most of them African American, were gunned down in a supermarket.

President Joe Biden addressed the nation on Tuesday and called for for action, reflecting on his own first-hand knowledge of losing a child.

“To lose a child is like having a piece of your soul ripped away. There’s a hollowness in your chest, you feel like you’re being sucked into it,” Biden said. “And it’s never quite the same.”

The President has lost two children. His baby daughter Naomi and first wife died in a car crash in 1972, and his son Beau died of brain cancer in 2015.

“When in god’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?” Biden asked viewers.

Vice President Kamala Harris called for policy changes to help prevent such tragedies.  “I would normally say in a moment like this — we would all say, naturally, that our hearts break. But our hearts keep getting broken,” Harris said at an event on Tuesday night. “You know, I think — there are so many elected leaders in this room, you know what I’m talking about: Every time a tragedy like this happens, our hearts break — and our broken hearts are nothing compared to the broken hearts of those families. And yet it keeps happening.”

Also Read: Robb Elementary School shooting: What we know so far

Greg Abbott, the Republican Governor, was the first official to confirm the death toll and provide details about the suspected gunman in a Tuesday press conference. The deceased suspect has been identified as Salvador Ramos, 18, who had a handgun and possibly a rifle when he opened fire at Robb Elementary School,

“He shot and killed — horrifically, incomprehensibly — 14 students and killed a teacher,” Abbott said.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz tweeted a response to the shooting on Tuesday afternoon, thanking law enforcement and first responders for acting swiftly. “Heidi and I are fervently lifting up in prayer the children and families in the horrific shooting in Uvalde,” wrote the Republican Senator.

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John Cornyn, the state’s other Republican senator called the shooting “every parent and teacher’s worst nightmare.”

Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro, a Democrat who represents a district that includes half of San Antonio, which is approximately 85 miles east of Uvalde, commented on the close-knit community of the small town.

“My heart goes out to the community and the families in Uvalde devastated by gun violence today,” he tweeted. “This is a parent’s worst nightmare. We need gun reform now.”

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat who represents the Sandy Hook community, called for gun control. 

“This isn’t inevitable. These kids weren’t unlucky. This only happens in this country and nowhere else,” Murphy said. “Nowhere else do little kids go to school thinking that they might be shot that day,” he said. 

California Rep. Nancy Pelosi told CNN that “words are inadequate to describe the agony and outrage at the cold-blooded massacre of little schoolchildren and a teacher at Robb Elementary School today.”

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez came down heavily on the Republicans. “There is no such thing as being “pro-life” while supporting laws that let children be shot in their schools, elders in grocery stores, worshippers in their houses of faith, survivors by abusers, or anyone in a crowded place,” she wrote. “It is an idolatry of violence. And it must end.”