President Biden reiterated his call for gun reform as he stopped in Maine to pay his respects to the victims and families of those killed and wounded last week after a gunman opened fire at a bar and a bowling alley.
Eighteen people were killed and 13 injured when Robert Card opened fire at Schemengees Bar and Grille and Just-in-Time Recreation in Lewiston.
“As we mourn today in Maine, this tragedy opens painful, painful wounds all across the country,” Mr. Biden said Friday outside Just-in-Time. “Too many Americans have lost loved ones or survived the trauma of gun violence.”
In his speech, Mr. Biden did not call on Congress to pass specific gun control measures.
“I know consensus is ultimately possible,” the president said. “This is about common sense, reasonable, responsible measures to protect our children, our families, our communities. Because regardless of our politics, this is about protecting our freedom to go to a bowling alley, a restaurant, a school, a church without being shot and killed.”
Card, 40, was a firearms instructor and Army reservist who grew up in the area. The gunman, who had a history of mental illness, was found dead two days after the massacre from self-inflicted gunshot wounds.
While Mr. Biden and first lady Jill Biden were in Maine, they met with the first responders, nurses and others who were on the front line of the shooting response. They also spent time with the victims and families.
Before giving remarks at the bowling alley, Mr. Biden and his wife stopped at Schemengees to see a memorial set up outside the bar, where they left a bouquet of flowers.