World leaders react to Uvalde school shooting : NPR

A man brings flowers to Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on Wednesday.

Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images


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Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images


A man brings flowers to Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on Wednesday.

Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images

Officials around the world react to the shooting at a school in Uvalde, Texas, the deadliest incident in the US in nearly a decade.

In emotional remarks late Tuesday, President Biden called it a uniquely American tragedy.

“They have mental health problems, they have domestic disputes in other countries,” he said. “They have people who are lost. But these kinds of mass shootings never happen with the kind of frequency they happen in America. Why?”

He then called on lawmakers to stand up to the gun lobby.

That same evening, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern condemned the shooting, as a politician and mother, in an appearance on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. After two consecutive mosque shootings in 2019, New Zealand collected thousands of weapons through a nationwide buyback, and lawmakers voted to ban almost all semi-automatic weapons.

When asked by Colbert how the country could take that step, Ardern described New Zealanders as “very pragmatic people.”

“When we saw something like this happen, everyone said never again, so it was up to us as politicians to respond to that,” she said. “Now we have a legitimate need for weapons in our country, for things like pest control and to protect our biodiversity – but you don’t need a semi-automatic military style to do that.”

And New Zealand isn’t the only country drawing attention to the US stance on gun control. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin expressed his condolences to the families of the victims, but also called the US government hypocritical for not addressing gun violence at home while attacking abroad because of their human rights records.

Condolences also poured in from Ukrainian politicians, including President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who drew parallels between the loss of innocent young lives in Texas and his own war-torn country.

“The people of Ukraine share the pain of the victims’ relatives and friends and all Americans,” he tweeted.

Pope Francis also released a message on gun policy during his prayers.

Officials from several countries — including Canada, France, Germany, Mexico and the United Kingdom — as well as global faith leaders shared messages of shock and sympathy. Read some of their statements below.

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