President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday celebrated the gun security reform law that Biden signed last month, exactly one week after another mass shooting in which a gunman killed seven people in Highland Park, Illinois. Biden echoed calls from advocates and relatives of the victims for more shocking measures, including a ban on semi-automatic weapons.
The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act provides $ 750 million in funds to encourage states to implement red-flag laws, which can keep guns out of the hands of people deemed dangerous, closes a gap to keep guns away from more domestic aggressors and increases mental health services for children. and families and improves background checks for gun buyers under the age of 21.
It was approved in the wake of the deadly mass shootings in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas and signed by Biden late last month. Relatives of the victims, members of communities affected by armed violence, and advocates for gun reform were among the dozens of the audience on the southern lawn of the White House on Monday.
However, some advocates said any celebration was premature and unrelated to what they consider a more urgent need for reform.
Manuel Oliver, the father of Parkland shooting victim Joaquin Oliver, on Monday interrupted the president’s speech, asking him to open an office in the White House to deal with armed violence and appoint a gunman.
“You have to do more than that!” Oliver shouted, Biden listening and replying, “We have one. Let me finish my time.”
Biden himself made an explicit call to ban “assault weapons.” He helped pass the first such ban in 1994, a law that expired in 2004.
“Some people claim it’s for sports or for hunting,” Biden said of AR-15 and similar semi-automatic weapons. “These weapons maximize the damage done along with those bullets, and the human flesh and bones just break.”
The president detailed how members of the U.S. service must go through extensive training and controls to use similar weapons in the military, “although we continue to allow these weapons to be sold to people without training or experience.”
Biden also said he owned four shotguns and believed in the Second Amendment as a “responsible gun owner.”
But, he added, “guns are the number one killer of children in the United States.”
“With the rights come responsibilities,” Biden said. “Yes, we have the right to bear arms. We also have the right to live freely, without fear for our lives.”
Dr. Roy Guerrero, a pediatrician from Uvalde, Texas, who helped the victims of the shooting at Robb Elementary, spoke Monday at the White House. He previously testified when he saw unidentifiable corpses of dead children at the hospital where he worked that day.
“It’s hard to be a pediatrician in a community where kids don’t want to go back to school and their parents don’t want to send them,” he said Monday, adding later, “Hopefully this is the start of a move toward banning assault weapons.” .
Garnell Whitfield Jr., whose 86-year-old mother Ruth was killed in the Buffalo supermarket shooting earlier this summer, has also called for social reforms.
“We know this is only the first step,” he said of the gun safety law centered on Monday. “We must address white supremacy and direct internal terrorism.”
President Biden admitted to the families of the victims that the law was far behind schedule and promised it would bring about further changes.
“You felt and you feel the price of inaction,” he said. “That this took too long with too much trace of bloodshed and carnage.”
“But for your work, your defense, your courage, lives will be saved today and tomorrow for that,” he added amid applause.
“Success generates success,” he added. “We are finally moving that mountain: a mountain of opposition, obstruction and indifference that has stood in the way and stopped all efforts for arms security for thirty years in this nation. Now is the time to drive this movement.”
Biden applauds the gun safety law and repeats the call for more action
Source link Biden applauds the gun safety law and repeats the call for more action