“This is not about taking away anyone’s rights. It’s about protecting children, protecting families. It is about protecting entire communities. It’s about protecting our freedom to go to school, to a grocery store, to church” without being shot to death, President Joe Biden said.
The president of United States, Joe Bidenasked this Thursday in a speech to the nation that assault weapons and high-capacity chargers be prohibited, while the country continues to be traumatized by the recent massacre in Uvalde (Texas), in which 19 children died.
“We need to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. And if we can’t ban assault weapons, we should raise the age to buy them from 18 to 21,” Biden said.
In a speech of nearly 20 minutes in which he repeated over and over again: “That’s enough,” Biden launched a series of requests to lawmakers to take concrete measures to control weapons in the country, after the recent shootings of Uvalde, Buffalo (New York) and Tulsa (Oklahoma).
Specifically, he requested that the background check of potential buyers be reinforced, that the law be applied to guarantee the safe storage of weapons and that the immunity that protects weapons manufacturers be repealed.
“How many more butcher shops are we willing to accept? How many more lives of innocent Americans must be taken before we say enough is enough? », He stressed in a speech that, at times, became emotional.
According to Biden, the survivors of the massacres have a message for politicians: “Do something, just do something, for God’s sake, do something, because after Columbine, after Sandy Hook, after Charleston, after Orlando, after Las Vegas (…) nothing has been done,” Biden said in reference to the main massacres that have hit the country in recent years.
Standing at the end of a red carpet and an aisle made up of 56 candles lit to represent the shooting victims of America’s states and territories, Biden insisted that the second amendment to the US constitution, on the right to possess weapons, “like all other rights, is not absolute”.
“This is not about taking away anyone’s rights. It’s about protecting children, protecting families. It is about protecting entire communities. It’s about protecting our freedom to go to school, to a grocery store, to church” without being shot to death, Biden said.
We need to:
Ban assault weapons — and if we can’t, then we should raise the age to purchase them from 18 to 21.
Ban high-capacity magazines.
Strengthen background checks.
Enact safe storage laws and red flag laws.
Repeal gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability.
— President Biden (@POTUS) June 2, 2022
His speech coincides with the talks in which a group of nine Republican senators and Democrats have been participating since last week to try to agree on firearms control measures that can receive the support of legislators from both parties.
The measures would be far more modest than the assault weapons ban advocated by most Democrats, including Biden, and would focus on beefing up school safety and funding mental health programs, both of which are Republican requirements.
They would also seek to expand background checks to buy firearms and give states incentives to pass laws that allow authorities to seize weapons from individuals deemed dangerous.
Precisely this Thursday the Judicial Committee of the House of Representatives -the Lower House of Congress- is debating a series of arms control measures, collected under the title of Act for the Protection of Our Children.
The measures seek to introduce a 10-round limitation per magazine, raise the minimum age to buy a semi-automatic rifle from 18 to 21, and give states incentives to pass gun confiscation laws.
They also seek to limit the use of “ghost weapons,” which can be purchased in parts online and then assembled at home, making them untraceable as they have no serial number.
Debate over the measure has seen most House Republicans condemn any attempt to limit Americans’ ability to buy guns, often repeating the typical conservative message that “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is he’s a good guy with a gun.”
The entire House of Representatives, where Democrats hold the majority, is scheduled to debate this package of measures next week.