President Biden said Tuesday that he was “devastated” by the killing of 10 people at a grocery store in Boulder, Colo., and called on Congress not to “wait another minute” in enacting legislation to ban assault rifles and high-capacity ammunition magazines and tightening gun control laws in the wake of a mass shooting Monday at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, less than a week after eight people were killed during a shooting spree in Atlanta.
Mr Biden suggested that he may take executive action on gun violence.
“As president I’m going to use all the resources at my disposal to keep people safe,” he said.
“This is not and should not be a partisan issue — it is an American issue,” a somber Mr. Biden said in brief remarks delivered in the State Dining Room at the White House. “We have to act.”
“I got that done when I was a senator. It passed. It was a law for the longest time, and it brought down these mass killings. We should do it again,” he said. “We can close loopholes in our background check system, close the Charleston loophole. That’s one of the best tools we have right now to prevent gun violence.”
” Officer Eric Talley thought he would be coming home to his family and seven children, but when the moment came, he did not hesitate in his duty, making the ultimately sacrifice to save lives, that’s the definition of an American hero.”
The attack in Colorado, in which a gunman killed 10 people, including a police officer, came less than a week after another gunman murdered eight people in Atlanta. The back-to-back killings amounted to a return of mass casualty shootings that had seemed, for a time, to be suppressed by pandemic lockdowns.
President Biden called on the Senate to “immediately pass” two bills the House recently approved that change background check laws. He argued gun laws shouldn’t be a “partisan issue,” adding, “this is an American issue.”
Former President Barack Obama, called on elected officials Tuesday to take action because “this is a normal we can no longer afford.”
“We should be able to go to school, or go out with our friends, or worship together without mentally planning our escape if someone shows up with a gun. We should be able to live our lives without wondering if the next trip outside our home could be our last,” Obama said in a statement. “It will take time to root out the disaffection, racism and misogyny that fuels so many of these senseless acts of violence. But we can make it harder for those with hate in their hearts to buy weapons of war.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has vowed to hold votes on the House-passed measures, but does not currently appear to have the support of at least 10 Republicans to avoid the filibuster.
During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday, Democrats called for expanding background checks and more restrictive gun laws and Republicans immediately voiced opposition. The hearing, about measures to address gun violence, was scheduled before Monday’s shooting.
Sen. Dick Durbin Judiciary Committee Chairman, D-Ill., said that in addition to a moment of silence, he’s calling for “a moment of action.”
“Prayer leaders have their important place in this, but we are Senate leaders. What are we doing? What are we doing other than reflecting and praying? That’s a good starting point. That shouldn’t be an end point,” said Durbin, who said that there were 20 people shot in the city of Chicago last weekend.
“We won’t solve this crisis with just prosecutions after funerals. We need prevention before shooting,” he added.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., noted that Boulder banned assault weapons in 2018, but a court blocked the ban 10 days ago.
Republicans criticized Democrats’ calls for tougher gun laws, arguing that they are trying to take away people’s Second Amendment rights with proposals that won’t solve the violence problem.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, ranking member on the committee, argued that the rise in violence results from “defunding” the police.
“Every time there’s a shooting, we play this ridiculous theater where this committee gets together and proposes a bunch of laws that would do nothing to stop these murders,” he said. “What happens in this committee after every mass shooting is Democrats propose taking away guns from law abiding citizens, because that’s their political objective.”
Cruz said he and Grassley will reintroduce a bill that would criminalize “straw purchasing” of firearms — when someone buys them on behalf of someone who is prohibited by law — and gun trafficking. The bill would also improve and reauthorize grants for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Tuesday that Congress must approve the recently House-passed legislation to address gun violence.
One measure would require the checks for nearly all gun purchases, including transactions involving unlicensed or private sellers. The other bill aims to close the “Charleston loophole,” which allows the sale of firearms to proceed if background checks aren’t completed within three days, by expanding the review period to 10 days.
William Roache (Analysis Editor Newspresslive )