The President of the United States, Joe Biden, called this Thursday in an address to the nation that assault weapons and high-capacity chargers be banned. As the country continues to be traumatized by the recent massacre in Uvalde, Texas, in which 19 children died, and legislators from both parties discuss gun control.
“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 prime-time speech at 7:30 p.m. local time.
In a speech of nearly 20 minutes in which he repeated over and over “enough is enough,” Biden launched a series of requests to lawmakers to take concrete measures for the control of weapons in the country. After the recent shootings in Uvalde, Buffalo (New York) and Tulsa (Oklahoma).
Joe Biden asked to reinforce background check
Specifically, he requested that background checks on potential buyers also be strengthened. Likewise, 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law be applied to guarantee the safe storage of weapons and that the immunity that protects weapons manufacturers be repealed.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.
US shooting victims
Standing at the end of a red carpet and aisle made up of 56 candles lit to represent the shooting victims of America’s states and territories, Biden insisted on the second amendment to the US constitution. Which is about the right to own weapons. “Like all other rights, it 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. To protect our freedom to go to school, to a store of groceries, to a church” without being shot to death, said the US president.
His speech coincides with the talks in which a group of nine Republican and Democratic senators have participated since last week. Those trying to agree on gun control measures that can be supported by lawmakers from both parties.
The measures would be far more modest than the assault weapons ban advocated by most Democrats, including Biden. These would focus on strengthening school safety and funding mental health programs. Both requirements of the Republicans.
Confiscate weapons from dangerous individuals
They would also seek to expand background checks to be able to buy firearms. As well as giving incentives to the states so that they pass laws that allow the authorities to confiscate the weapons of individuals considered 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. Which are collected under the title of Act for the Protection of Our Children.
The measures seek to introduce a limitation of ten bullets per magazine. Also, increase the minimum age to buy a semi-automatic rifle from 18 to 21 years. And give states incentives to pass gun confiscation laws.
They also seek to limit the use of “ghost weapons,” which can be bought in parts online and then assembled at home. With what they are impossible to trace since they do not have a serial number.
Debate over the measure has seen most House Republicans condemn any attempt to limit Americans’ ability to buy firearms. Often repeating the typical conservative message that “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is 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.