President Joe Biden delivered a prime-time nationwide address from the White House on Thursday evening, calling for Congress to ban assault weapons and implement stricter gun laws in the wake of several mass shootings in the United States. Biden said in part: “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.”
Biden added: “This is not about taking away anyone’s guns. It’s not about vilifying gun owners. The Second Amendment, like all other rights, is not absolute. There have always been limitations on the type of weapons you can own in America. Machine guns have been federally regulated for nearly 90 years and this is still a free country. This isn’t about taking away anyone’s rights, it’s about protecting children, it’s about protecting families.”
Referencing his trip to Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, after the shooting at that killed 19 students and two teachers May 24, Biden said: “Standing there, in that small town, like so many communities across America, I couldn’t help but think, there are too many other schools, too many other everyday places that have become killing fields.” The latest mass shooting occurred on Wednesday in Tulsa, Oklahoma, leaving four dead, following the massacre in Uvalde, Texas, as well as an apparently racially-motivated attack at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, leaving 10 Black people dead.
Biden called for Republican support for legislation that would ban high-capacity magazines for assault rifles. He also called for an outright ban on the weapons themselves, but added, “If we can’t ban assault weapons like we should, then we should at least raise the age to 21.” Biden also called on lawmakers to take a stand against the gun lobby and gun manufacturers, whom he blamed for marketing assault weapons. The President said: “Guns are the number one killer of children in the United States of America. The number one killer. More than car accidents, more than cancer. Over the last two decades, more school-aged children have died from guns than on-duty police officers and active duty military combined.”
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