Star Dance Studio
Monterey Park, California
THE VICE PRESIDENT: So, I am here and have arrived in Monterey Park today to express our deepest condolences and sorrow for the violent and tragic and useless thing that happened here.
On behalf of the President and Dr. Biden, Doug and myself, we express what I know our nation feels in terms of mourning the loss of those who have died and were killed here. And, of course, we pray for the recovery of those that were injured.
You know, we’ve already had, in our country, this year already — we’re in January — it’s estimated over 40 mass killings already.
And, tragically, we keep saying the same thing. I have had the unfortunate experience of visiting many of these sites, and sometimes within days of a massacre like this.
We will always, as a compassionate nation, mourn for the loss and pray for those who survive and are recovering. But we must also require that leaders in our nation, who have the ability and the power and the responsibility to do something, that they act.
California has been courageous as a leader on the issue of smart gun safety laws. But we also need Congress to act, because, truly, if we are to have a uniform approach that is a statement of where we, as a nation, I think — where we are on these issues, then Congress must act so that we can get at least one step closer to what is right and what is reasonable, understanding that to do so is to fully support the Second Amendment, but to understand we need reasonable gun safety laws in our country.
So I am here, again, to express the sentiments of the President, the First Lady, and the Second Gentleman, and our country.
I will be meeting with some of the families. I’ve met with the sheriff and the county supervisor and the mayor, and I will meet with some of the first responders.
But, again, to all of those who are here covering this tragedy, continue to also cover the importance of requiring elected officials and leaders to have the courage to do the right thing when it comes to just what is reasonable and right.
Q Can this Congress do anything?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: They absolutely can.
Q You think they can accomplish?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: They have the power to do something. Can they do something? Yes. Should they do something? Yes.
Q Will they?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Will they do something? That is where we all must speak up and speak to our elected representatives about what we have a right to expect that they will do for the — in the interest of the safety and security and the wellbeing of people like those whose lives were ended (inaudible), people around our country. They can, yes.