After a series of deadly gun attacks, US President Joe Biden has called for tighter gun laws and a ban on assault rifles. “Enough, enough, enough. We really have to change something this time,” said Biden during an emotional speech at the White House in Washington on Thursday evening. “We cannot fail the American people again.”
The Democrat called it “unscrupulous” that the Republicans in the US Senate blocked any tightening of the regulations. Before the congressional elections in November, he called on Americans to “put this issue at the center of their voting decisions”. Biden said if a ban on assault rifles is unenforceable in Congress, the minimum age for purchasing these weapons should be raised from 18 to 21.
He also called for a ban on the sale of high-capacity magazines. Checks of gun buyers should be strengthened. Laws to safely store guns and protect against potentially dangerous gun owners would need to be enacted.
In addition to stricter gun laws, the president also called for the removal of liability protections, which protect gun manufacturers from being sued for violent crimes committed by people who carry their guns. “It’s time to act. For the children we’ve lost, for the children we can save, for the nation we love,” Biden said. “This isn’t about taking anyone’s guns away,” the president said. “I respect the culture, tradition and concerns of legitimate gun owners.”
However, like all rights, the Second Amendment to the Constitution on the right to own a gun is not absolute. “In the last two decades, more school-age children have been killed by guns than duty police officers and active-duty soldiers combined. Think about it.”
Behind Biden burned 56 candles, which the White House said should represent victims of gun violence in all 56 states and territories of the United States. The rampage at an elementary school in Texas last week in particular once again fueled the debate about tightening gun laws in the USA.
The US President had already asked Congress to reintroduce a ban on assault weapons and to pass measures. A cross-party group of senators is currently working on drafting a narrower bill. However, previous efforts of this kind had failed. For years, many Republicans have opposed stricter regulations, such as a ban on assault rifles.
As the White House explains, the President wants Congress to pass legislation because it would have a more lasting impact than any executive order he could issue. While the Democrats have enough votes to pass the bill in the House of Representatives, they have little chance in the Senate, which is split into 50-seat Democrats and Republicans each. Passing a law requires 60 votes within the Senate, which means that every law needs bipartisan support. According to the White House, Biden’s speech was aimed at further pressurizing lawmakers and keeping the issue in the minds of voters.
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