The suspect in the shootings, Robert R. Card, allegedly opened fire at a bar and bowling alley in Lewiston, Maine, resulting in the deaths of 18 individuals and the injury of 13 others. Earlier in the day, both Harris and President Joe Biden issued statements urging the reinstatement of a ban on specific semi-automatic firearms.
During her remarks on Thursday afternoon, Harris expressed her condolences, saying, "Doug and I mourn for those who were killed. We pray for those who were injured and grieve with the many whose lives have been forever altered by this tragic event. The Biden-Harris Administration will continue to offer unwavering support to local authorities, and as we gather more information, it is crucial that we speak honestly about the current state of affairs."
Harris went on to highlight the alarming prevalence of gun violence in the United States, particularly among children. She stated, "In our country today, gun violence is the leading cause of death for American children. It has terrorized and traumatized countless communities. However, we must recognize that it doesn't have to be this way, as our friends in Australia have demonstrated."
The suspect, Card, is an Army reservist with 20 years of service and is also a certified firearms instructor. According to Newsweek, he reported hearing voices after receiving new hearing aids and spent two weeks in a mental institution.
Australia implemented legislation that mandated the surrender of semi-automatic firearms and certain pump-action firearms through a mandatory "buyback" program.
In the wake of recent mass shootings at a Nashville school, a back in Louisville, and an outlet mall in Allen, Texas, President Biden, congressional Democrats, media figures, and celebrities have all called for a ban on so-called "assault weapons."