In the wake of the increased mass shootings across the country, President Biden addressed the nation last night. President Biden pushed Congress to action in supporting and passing legislation for common-sense gun laws. Biden said the time is now.
“After Columbine, after Sandy Hook, after Charleston, after Orlando, after Las Vegas, after Parkland, nothing has been done. This time, which can’t be true. This time, we must actually do something. The issue we face is one of conscience and common sense.”
The country is reeling from an onslaught of mass shootings around the country. Buffalo, NY, Uvalde, TX, and with the most recent happening in Tulsa, OK, President Biden outlined some of the legislation he wants Congress to act on immediately. These include tougher background checks, a ban on assault rifles, and increasing the minimum age required to purchase a gun to the age of 21.
“We need to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. And if we can’t ban assault weapons, then we should raise the age to purchase them from 18 to 21. Strengthen background checks. Enact safe storage laws and red-flag laws. Repeal the immunity that protects gun manufacturers from liability. Address the mental health crisis deepening the trauma of gun violence and as a consequence of that violence. These are rational, commonsense measures.”
There have been over 200 mass shootings in the United States since the beginning of the year. In each of these mass shootings, assault rifles were used. These shootings have prompted new debates by politicians, gun control advocates, and gun rights supporters. While most of the American public is in favor of some form of gun control, Republicans have offered every reason other than sensible gun control legislation to reduce mass shootings. Citing the second amendment Republicans and gun rights advocates accuse the President and Democrats of wanting to eliminate the right to bear arms, a point President Biden addressed in his speech saying, “This isn’t about taking away anyone’s rights. It’s about protecting children. It’s about protecting families. It’s about protecting whole communities. It’s about protecting our freedoms to go to school, to a grocery store, and to a church without being shot and killed.”
On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee approved a package of gun control legislation called the “Protecting Our Kids Act.” As expected, the package passed with committee members voting 25-19 along party lines. The “Protecting Our Kids” act includes raising the minimum age to purchase assault rifles to 21 from 18 years old and establishing new federal offenses for selling large-capacity magazines and gun trafficking. The legislation is not expected to pass with Republicans remaining uncompromising on the subject of gun control even with the increased amount of mass shootings in America.
In addition to the “Protecting Our Kids” act, Congress has refused to act on other gun legislation. The Enhanced Background Checks act of 2021, the Federal Extreme Risk Protection act, and HR8-The bipartisan background checks act of 2021 also sit stagnant in the Senate.
“I support the bipartisan efforts that include a small group of Democrats and Republican senators trying to find a way. But my God, the fact that the majority of the Senate Republicans don’t want any of these proposals even to be debated or come up for a vote, I find unconscionable.”