STORY: Authorities said an 18-year-old gunman opened fire at an elementary school in south Texas, about 80 miles (130 km) west of San Antonio before he apparently was killed by police officers.
Biden demanded action on Tuesday night in wake of the horror of the elementary school shooting, but did not lay out actions he intended to take, nor call for a specific vote in Congress or policy.
"I hoped when I became president I would not have to do this, again," a visibly shaken Biden said, decrying the death of "beautiful, innocent" second, third and fourth graders in "another massacre."
Biden, whose life has been marked by family tragedy, said the parents in Texas "will never see their child again, never have them jump in bed and cuddle with them," he said.
He asked Americans to fight the feeling of powerlessness from seeing yet another mass shooting.
"As a nation, we have to ask when in God's name we're going to stand up to the gun lobby, when in God's name we do what we all know in our gut needs to be done," Biden said, his voice rising to a crescendo. "I am sick and tired. We have to act. And don't tell me we can't have an impact on this carnage."