Washington – President Biden said on Thursday it was time to end the “carnage” and loss of American life in mass shootings across the country as he pleaded with Congress to pass what he called of “rational, common-sense measures” to curb gun violence.
“How much carnage are we willing to accept? How many more innocent American lives must be taken before we say enough? Enough,” Mr. Biden said in a prime-time speech on gun violence delivered from the White House.
The president’s remarks come as the nation grapples with the aftermath of the mass shootings in; ; and . In a symbol of how gun violence is a nationwide issue, 56 candles representing all 50 states and six US territories lined Mr. Biden’s walk to the podium in Cross Hall, according to the White House.
“After Columbine, after Sandy Hook, after Charleston, after Las Vegas, after Parkland, nothing was done,” the president said. “This time it can’t be true. This time we actually have to do something.”
As he has pointed out before, Mr Biden called for the ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines to be reinstated – nearly 20 years after it expired – but said that if it could not be done , then the minimum purchase age for semi-automatic weapons should be raised from 18 to 21. He also called for stronger background checks, the enactment of safe storage and red flag laws, and the repeal of immunity that protects gunmakers from liability.
The president also called for increased mental health resources, saying there is a “serious youth mental health crisis in this county.”
Mr Biden was adamant “it’s not about taking away anyone’s rights”, refuting some who have argued that gun control measures would violate Second Amendment rights, and pointed out that there had long been restrictions on assault weapons.
“It’s about protecting children,” Biden said. “This is about protecting families. This is about protecting entire communities. This is about protecting our freedom to go to school, to the grocery store, to church without being shot and killed. .”
After laying out his plan to address gun violence, Mr. Biden asked, “What will Congress do?
The Uvalde massacre prompted swift action from the Democratic-controlled partyand, after a marathon hearing, introduced a package of bills called the “Protecting Our Children Act” that would toughen national gun laws. Action by the full House could come as early as next week, though it faces significant challenges to pass in the 50-50 Senate, where 60 votes are needed for the legislation to pass.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also told fellow Democrats in a letter Thursday that after she returns from her two-week vacation, the lower house will vote next week on legislation that would implement a National extreme risks. The House will also hold a hearing on an assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004, she said.
During this time, amet to discuss common ground on gun legislation. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, progress as they work out the details of the review that they both hope they can win enough GOP support to overcome a filibuster in the Senate.
Biden said he supports the Senate’s bipartisan efforts to change national gun laws, but it’s up to the upper house to act.
“This time it’s time to do something, and this time it’s time for the Senate to do something,” he said, adding, “My God, the fact that a majority of Republicans of the Senate does not want any of these proposals to even be debated or put to a vote which I find inadmissible.We cannot disappoint the American people any longer.