In his statement, the president ordered U.S. flags flown at half-staff as he did in the wake of the shootings in Atlanta and Boulder.
Biden said he had been briefed on the shooting, as had Vice President Kamala Harris. Indianapolis Police Deputy Chief Craig McCartt said the gunman, who died by apparent suicide, “appeared to randomly start shooting.”
Last week, Biden announced a spate of executive actions aimed at slowing gun violence, which included reforms to reign in so-called ghost guns and requiring the Department of Justice to issue a new report on gun trafficking annually. He also called for the Justice Department to put out a “model” red flag law, also known as an extreme risk protective order, for states to adopt.
In the statement Friday, Biden renewed his calls for the Senate to take up House-passed legislation aimed at closing the so-called Charleston loophole, adding universal background checks and reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act.
“Too many Americans are dying every single day from gun violence,” Biden said in the statement. “It stains our character and pierces the very soul of our nation. We can, and must, do more to act and to save lives.”
House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) said last week that he thinks that Congress can get bipartisan legislation through, but such legislation faces an uphill battle in the Senate, which Democrats hold by the slimmest possible majority and would need 10 Republicans to get on board. Democrat-backed efforts to enact gun reform legislation have failed in recent years.
“We can’t give up just because it’s hard, just because the politics are perplexing,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday.
The push comes as Congress is weighing Biden’s multi-trillion dollar infrastructure package, as well as proposals on racial justice. Psaki said Friday that “leaders can do more than one thing at one time.”