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Gun deaths 'national embarrassment' -Biden

"This has to end. It's a national embarrassment," Biden said at a White House press conference alongside Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

Earlier this month, Biden announced limited measures to tackle gun violence that included a crackdown on self-assembled "ghost guns." But more stringent measures face an uphill battle in a divided Congress, where Republican lawmakers have long opposed any new gun limits.

Nearly 20,000 Americans died last year as a result of gun violence, not including suicide - 25% higher than in 2019, and more than in any other year in at least two decades, according to figures compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Eight people were shot to death at three day spas in the Atlanta area in mid-March, raising fears that the gunman had targeted Asian Americans amid a rise in hate crimes. Days later, a gunman killed 10 people at a Colorado grocery store.

There have been 147 mass shootings in 2021, defined as incidents in which at least four people were shot, according to the Gun Violence Archive, a non-profit website that tracks firearm-related incidents.

Friday also marked the 14th anniversary of the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history at Virginia Tech, which saw 32 people killed.