President Joe Biden gave long thought to the exceptional problem of gun violence in the United States on Thursday, calling it “international embarrassment” in revealing his first executive actions on the issue.
Biden’s suite of actions task the Justice Department with curbing gun proliferation, as well as appointing a permanent head of the federal agency tasked with combating gun trafficking for the first time since years.
“The idea that so many people are dying every day as a result of gun violence in America is a stain on our character,” said Biden of the White House Rose Garden.
Several people affected by gun violence attended Biden’s remarks, including former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), Who was shot in the head in a mass shooting in 2011; survivors of the Pulse nightclub shooting in 2016; and parents of children killed in mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 and Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018.
Management’s actions follow recent mass shootings in Colorado and Georgia, the latter largely targeting Asian American women.
But Biden stressed that the mass shootings are only part of the problem.
“You probably haven’t heard it, but between those two incidents, less than a week apart, there were over 850 other shootings … which claimed the lives of over 250 people and 500 … injured, “he said. “It’s an epidemic, for god’s sake, and it must end.”
It’s an epidemic, for God’s sake, and it must end.
President Joe Biden
These recent shootings have increased pressure on Biden to act on the issue, as groups working to prevent gun violence were already frustrated that his first executive order blitz in January did not include any on gun control. .
The president acknowledged that his proposed actions are modest, as the bigger changes he wants to see – ban assault weapons, close gaps in firearms background checks and remove protections from gunmakers. against lawsuits – require congressional action. Democrats have a slim majority, but their ability to act is limited by current filibuster rules.
“We have a long way to go,” Biden said. “It seems like we still have a long way to go.”
Biden is also calling on the Justice Department to crack down on kits to assemble a gun from parts without a serial number, called ghost guns. His rule would legally classify kits as firearms, which would require parts to have serial numbers and subject buyers to background checks.
“I know the gun conversation in this country can be difficult,” Biden said. “But even here there is a lot more in common than anyone might think. … Everything that has been proposed today is fully consistent with the Second Amendment.
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