President Joe Biden is doubling down on his pledge to further gun control in the United States and end the plague of mass shootings that seem to be sweeping the nation.
The shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, left 19 children and two adults dead. Years after the Sandy Hook shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut, many are left asking what can be done to protect teachers, students, and the concerned public from the threats of gun violence.
Although many have proposed sweeping gun reform, President Joe Biden faces an uphill battle against the NRA and conservatives who claim that the right to bear arms is protected under the Second Amendment. As a result, Biden is calling on Congress to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines to stop the loss of life caused by gun violence.
President Joe Biden Says ‘We Can’t Fail The American People Again’
On Thursday night, President Joe Biden again spoke to the importance of protecting American lives by enacting stricter gun control measures. Speaking from the White House in a speech transcribed by Deadline, Biden told the public, “We can’t fail the American people again.”
Biden has been to Uvalde, Texas, to visit with families and parents who lost children in the aftermath of the shooting. He recalled some of the terrible stories that he heard, not only from parents but from students who watched their classmates be taken from them right before their eyes.
“Over the last two decades, more school-aged children have died from guns than on-duty police officers and active-duty military combined. Think about that,” Biden said as he paused to reflect. “More kids than on-duty cops killed by guns. More kids than soldiers are killed by guns.”
“For God’s sake, how much more carnage are we willing to accept?” he asked. “How many more innocent American lives must be taken before we say, enough. Enough.”
President Joe Biden Is Willing To Negotiate On Gun Control
Although Biden is pushing for a ban on assault rifles, he is willing to accept that “we should raise the age to purchase them from 18 to 21” in lieu of an outright ban. The shooter in the Uvalde, Texas massacre was only 18-years-old when he shot his grandmother before driving to the school.
Biden is also calling for stronger background checks and calling for steps to address mental health concerns. He is also supporting passing safe storage laws and red flag laws. Biden also called to repeal the measure that protects gun manufacturers from liability.
Biden said that he is seeking to pass “rational, common-sense measures” to gun control and expressed that he has the support of a majority of the public. Last week, a Politico poll showed that 67% of individuals polled strongly or somewhat strongly support a ban on assault weapons.
“Let us meet the moment,” Biden urged Congress. “Let us finally do something.”
The Democratic-led House will vote on a series of measures next week, but it is unclear whether or not it will make it through the Senate. Gun control legislation was pushed through the House after the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre but failed in the Senate.
“I support the bipartisan efforts that include a small group of Democratic and Republican senators trying to find a way, but my God … the fact that the majority of Senate Republicans don’t want any of these proposals even to be debated or come up for a vote, I find unconscionable,” he added.
‘This Is Not About Taking Away Anyone’s Guns’
My fellow Americans — enough.
It’s time for each of us to do our part. It’s time to act.
For the children we have lost, for the children we can save, for the nation we love — let us hear the call and cry, let us meet this moment, let us finally do something.
— President Biden (@POTUS) June 3, 2022
“This is not about taking away anyone’s guns. It’s not about vilifying gun owners,” Biden continued. “In fact, we believe we should be treating responsible gun owners as an example of how every gun owner should behave. I respect the culture, the tradition, and the concerns of lawful gun owners. At the same time, the Second Amendment, like all other rights, is not absolute.”
In 1994, Congress had passed a ban on assault weapons, but it expired in 2004. Biden said, “In the 10 years it was law, mass shootings went down. But after Republicans let the law expire in 2004, and those weapons were allowed to be sold again, mass shootings tripled.”
The 1994 ban included bans on the AR-15 and AK-47. An AR-15 was used in the shooting in Uvalde. Biden said that the AR-15 “was so devastating in Uvalde, parents had to do DNA swabs to identify the remains of their children.”
“Nine and ten-year-old children,” he reminded the public. “Enough.”