Biden Urges Congress To Act On Gun Control Legislation

President Joe Biden addressed the nation on Thursday night about the recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, that took the lives of a total of 31 people and called on Congress to enact gun control measures.

“How much more carnage are we willing to accept?” he asked.

The House Judiciary Committee met Thursday to discuss eight measures of the “Protect Our Children Act.” Some of these measures include increasing the age for buying semiautomatic rifles from 18 to 21, establishing a buyback program and strengthening ghost gun and bump stock regulations. Biden also voiced support for reinstating 1994’s assault weapons ban that he helped pass as a member of the Senate. It expired in 2004.

Biden specifically urged 10 Senate Republicans to vote in favor of the “commonsense” gun laws. Even if the “Protect Our Children Act” passes in the House, it will face potentially insurmountable opposition in the evenly split Senate. A bipartisan group of senators headed by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) is working to find common ground that both parties will be able to support, but Murphy acknowledged Thursday that he is “prepared for failure.”

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Biden addressed Republicans’ concerns that bolstering gun laws would infringe on Second Amendment rights.

“I want to be very clear. This is not about taking away anyone’s guns. It’s not about vilifying gun owners. … I respect the culture and the tradition, the concerns of lawful gun owners,” the President said. “At the same time, the Second Amendment, like all other rights, is not absolute.”

The National Rifle Association released a response to Biden’s address, reiterating a view that many Republican lawmakers hold as well.

“Instead of acting on functional measures and real solutions that when implemented will reduce crime and will help those with dangerous behavioral health issues, all that the President repeatedly proposes will only infringe on the rights of those law-abiding who have never, and will never, commit a crime,” the statement read.

Rose Carter

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