Biden insists he does NOT want to ‘take away’ guns or ‘vilify’ owners as he calls for an assault weapons ban and more background checks: President tears into ‘unconscionable’ Republicans and tells Americans to vote if Congress fails to ‘do something’
- Biden pushed for sweeping gun control as he demanded Congress ‘do something! For God’s sake, do something!’
- Still he insisted: ‘This is not about taking away anyones guns. It’s not about vilifying gun owners’
- ‘My God, the fact that a majority of Senate Republicans don’t want any of these proposals to even be debated … I find unconscionable’
- The president has said there is little left for him to do from the executive branch
- He’s urged Congress to take up measures that would ban assault weapons and strengthen universal background checks
- On Wednesday a gunman opened fire at a Tulsa hospital, killing four people with an AR-15 he purchased three hours before the attack
- The Oklahoma shooting came within one week of Uvalde, Texas, where 19 students and two teachers were killed
- Shortly before that 10 were killed at a Buffalo grocery store
- Biden’s speech comes as the House Judiciary Committee spent Wednesday marking up a sweeping gun control package
Biden makes a passionate plea for gun control
Renew assault weapons ban or at least raise age of purchase from 18 to 21
Ban high-capacity magazines
Expand background checks
Red flag laws
Addressing the mental health crisis
Repeal liability shield protecting gun manufacturers from prosecution,
Urges Congress to ‘do something’ and calls Republican reaction ‘unconscionable’
Tells Americans to make gun control a central issue in the midterms
President Biden pushed for sweeping gun control beyond even what the House is negotiating as he demanded Congress ‘do something! For God’s sake, do something!’
Still he insisted: ‘This is not about taking away anyones guns. It’s not about vilifying gun owners. We believe we should be treating responsible gun owners as every gun owner should behave.’
But, Biden added, ‘The Second Amendment is not absolute.’
Biden praised the House for taking up a sweeping gun control package, as he said supported the more narrow, bipartisan efforts led by Sens. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and John Cornyn, R-Texas, in the Senate.
He tore into Republicans who stood in the way of tightening restrictions.
‘My God, the fact that a majority of Senate Republicans don’t want any of these proposals to even be debated … I find unconscionable.’
The president then made the matter an election year issue, imploring voters to make the matter of gun control ‘central to your vote.’
His calls went beyond what the House package would do, calling for an outright ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, strengthening background checks and requirements for gun owners to properly store their firearms.
Biden admitted the likely defeat on an assault weapons ban, but said that the minimum age for such weapons should at least be raised from 18 to 21. The House is currently marking up a bill that would raise the purchasing age of semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21.
The president targeted much of his ire at gun manufacturer immunity. ‘The gun industry special protections are outrageous. It must end.’
‘We should repeal the liability shield that often protects gun manufacturers are being sued for the death and destruction caused by their weapons,’ Biden said.
‘They’re the only industry in this country that has that kind of immunity. Imagine, imagine if the tobacco industry had been immune from being sued where we’d be today.’
Of the 1994 assault weapons ban, Biden again blamed the GOP. ‘Republicans let the law expire in 2004,’ he said. ‘Those weapons were allowed to be sold again. Mass shootings tripled.’
Biden noted that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) had recently found gun violence to be the number one killer of children in the U.S.
‘Over the last two decades, more school-aged children have died from guns than on-duty police officers and active duty military combined. Think about that.’
On the heels of another mass shooting in Tulsa, Okla., Vice President Kamala Harris insisted earlier there are ‘no more excuses’ not to act.
‘No more excuses. Thoughts and prayers are important, but not enough. We need Congress to act,’ the vice president said in remarks Thursday.
Biden has said there is little left for him to do from the executive branch and urged Congress to take up measures that would ban assault weapons and strengthen universal background checks.
Meanwhile, a manhunt is underway for an unidentified gunman who shot five family members on Thursday as they attended the funeral for a man who was shot and killed by a police officer last month.
On Wednesday a gunman opened fire at a Tulsa hospital, killing four people with an AR-15 he purchased three hours before the attack. The shooting came just over a week after a gunman mowed down 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, using an AR-15 he’d purchased days earlier for his 18th birthday, which came just after a white gunman opened fire in a Buffalo grocery store, killing 10 black shoppers.
Biden is set to deliver a plea for gun control Thursday evening at 7:30 p.m. ET on the heels of another mass shooting in Tulsa, Okla
‘No more excuses. Thoughts and prayers are important, but not enough. We need Congress to act,’ the vice president said Thursday
Bloodshed rocked the nation over Memorial Day Weekend – 150 died as a result of gun violence.
Earlier on Thursday the House Judiciary Committee held a markup session for the ‘Protecting Our Kids Act,’ which combines eight pieces of legislation in the latest Congressional gun control push.
The bill would raise the purchasing age of certain semiautomatic centerfire rifles from 18 to 21 – as the shooters in Buffalo and Uvalde were both 18. It also goes after high-capacity magazines, ghost guns and bump stocks and mandates certain requirements for firearms storage on residential facilities.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi also promised to have a hearing and markup of the assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer has also set a vote for next week for red flag legislation offered by Rep. Lucy McBath, D-Ga., whose son was a victim of gun violence a decade ago.
Republicans remained firm in their resistance and the eight-piece measure is unlikely to make it through the Senate after the House passes it. But a bipartisan group of senators led by Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and John Cornyn, R-Texas, are working on a slimmed-down gun control measure that focuses on on state-based red flag programs, school safety and mental health programs. Nineteen states currently have red flag legislation, which allows law enforcement to take away firearms from those who are deemed by a cour to be a threat to themselves or others, on the books.
As the president visited Uvalde over Memorial Day Weekend, he expressed optimism that legislation could pass by claiming Republicans are ‘getting more rational.’
Biden specifically called Cornyn and Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell ‘rational,’ though he said he didn’t know the status of the talks.
Asked if he had his own responsibility to act, Biden replied: ‘I can’t dictate this stuff.’ He implied the onus was on Congress to enact lasting change.
‘I can do the things I’ve done, and any executive action I can take, I’ll continue to take. But I can’t outlaw a weapon. I can’t change a background check. I can’t do that,’ the president said.
Republican Rep. Greg Steube of Florida argued that the law limiting high-capacity magazines would have unintended effects – and he held up his own guns to demonstrate, while participating in the hearing virtually.
Republican Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado argued that AR-15s, the gun style of choice in most recent U.S. mass shootings, had practical purposes.
‘In rural Colorado, an AR-15 is a gun of choice for killing raccoons before they get to our chickens,’ Buck said. ‘That is the gun of choice for killing a fox.’
The bill lawmakers are debating does not ban AR-15s.
Police tape outside of the Natalie Medical Building in Tulsa as police respond to a shooting that killed four people
Two people hug outside at Memorial High School where people were evacuated from the scene of a shooting at the Natalie Medical Building Wednesday, June 1
Family members hug as they are reunited at Memorial High School after being evacuated from the scene of a shooting at the Natalie Medical Building
Pictured: A map showing the states that saw the highest number of gun violence deaths over the weekend, that saw more than 150 people killed in total across the United States
Republican Rep. Tom McClintock of California suggested that ‘woke district attorneys’ aren’t using the laws already on the books – bringing up a favorite GOP punching bag, first son Hunter Biden.
‘Hunter Biden illegally acquired a handgun despite being an admitted drug addict. A handgun that ended up being taken out of a public trash can 500 feet from a school. He also lied on his firearms application,’ McClintock said. ‘Nobody’s prosecuting him.’
McClintock was referring to Biden answering no on a 2018 firearms permit to the question, ‘Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?’
Biden had already been discharged from the Navy Reserve over his cocaine use.
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