President Joe Biden laid out the specific actions he wants Congress to take on gun control legislation on Thursday, calling Republican Congressional opposition to the measures “unconscionable.” .
In what the White House sees as the main address on gun control legislation, Biden once again pleaded with Congress to act.
“I support bipartisan efforts including a small group of Democrats and Republicans trying to figure out a way. But God – the reality is the majority of Senate Republicans don’t want to. any of these proposals being contested or put up for a vote, I find it unconscionable.”
He suggested that lawmakers should reinstate a ban on assault weapons, like the AR-15, and a ban on large-volume magazines. If such weapons are not banned, the age to purchase them must be raised to 21 from 18.
“In the name of God, why would an average citizen buy an assault weapon that holds 30 rounds of ammunition, allowing mass shooters to fire hundreds of rounds in a matter of minutes,” Biden said.
U.S. President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden pay their respects at a makeshift memorial outside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on May 29, 2022.
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Biden said Congress should also increase background checks, including requiring them at gun shows and online sales, and enact safe storage and red flag laws and repeal the right to exemptions protect gun manufacturers from liability.
He also called for actions to address mental health, including more school counselors and other mental health services for students and teachers.
“I will never give up. If Congress fails, I believe the majority of Americans will not give up this time either,” Biden said. “I believe the majority of you will act to express your outrage to ensure that this issue is at the heart of your vote. Enough, enough, enough.
Evening remarks from the White House come after another mass shooting in Oklahoma Wednesday, when four people were killed after a gunman opened fire inside a hospital in Tulsa.
Biden has many times insist with Congress passing stricter gun control legislation amid a spate of mass shootings that have stunned the country over the past few weeks. On May 24, 19 children and two teachers were killed in an elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Ten days ago, on May 14, a gunman killed 10 people at a BuffaloNew York, grocery store.
The president recounted his conversations with the families of Uvalde victims, including a letter from a woman who lost her grandmother asking Biden to “remove the invisible line that divides our nation. ” He recounted that a teacher’s sister who was killed and her husband died of a heart attack two days later asked him what she could tell her nieces and nephews, who are now orphans.
“They’ve been turned into a killing field,” Biden said of his trip to Uvalde. “Standing there in that little town, like so many other communities across America, I couldn’t help but think that there were so many other schools, so many other everyday places that had become fields of death, battlefields in U.S.”
Biden has urged Congress to pass an assault weapons ban and legislation requiring general background checks, including for those who buy guns at gun shows or from private sellers.
“To a lot of you at home, I want to make it clear that this is not about taking away anyone’s gun. It’s not about defaming gun owners,” Biden said. “In fact, we believe we should treat gun owners responsibly as an example of how every gun owner should behave.”
Those measures currently lack congressional support even though a bipartisan group of senators is discussing a revised package of reforms.
Biden said there was little work he had to do through the executive branch, and that any major reform must come from Congress.
Congress is considering gun violence proposals on parallel paths. The House Judiciary Committee met on Thursday to pass a package of bills that would include raising the age to buy semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21, as well as restricting large-volume magazines.
But those proposals are likely to die when they reach the Senate, which needs 60 votes to break a dispute. Bipartisan talks continued this week on a more modest measure that includes red flag legislation, school safety provisions and potential new rules on background checks.
“This isn’t about winning anyone’s rights, it’s about protecting the children, protecting the family, it’s about protecting the whole community,” Biden said. “It’s about defending our freedom to go to school, to the grocery store, to church, not to get shot.”