By Stefan J. Bos Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
WASHINGTON (Worthy News) – U.S. President Joe Biden called for banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in a prime-time address to the nation after mass shootings killed at least a dozen people and injured 55 over the holiday weekend and into this week.
In words expected to worry the gun lobby, he warned that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, which protects the right to keep and bear arms, is “not absolute.”
However, he stressed that his proposed crackdown on assault weapons “is not about taking away anyone’s guns.”
The president, speaking from the Cross Hall of the White House, told Americans that the issue of restricting access to guns “is one of conscience and common sense.”
“For so many of you at home, I want to be very clear – this is not about taking away anyone’s guns,” the president said. “It is not about vilifying gun owners. In fact, we believe we should be treating responsible gun owners as an example of how every gun owner should behave.”
“I respect the culture, the tradition, the concerns of lawful gun owners,” Biden continued. “At the same time, the Second Amendment, like all other rights, is not absolute.”
TAKING AWAY GUNS?
Biden added: “This isn’t about taking away anyone’s rights. It’s about protecting children. It’s about protecting families. It’s about protecting whole communities. It’s about protecting our freedoms to go to school, grocery store, or church without being shot and killed.”
And he asked, “For God’s sake, how much more carnage are [you] willing to accept?” Biden said if assault weapons can’t be banned, the age to purchase such arms should be raised to 21.
He also called for red flag laws, a repeal of the liability shield for gun manufacturers, and “safe-storage” legislation.
As Biden addressed the nation, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee passed H.R. 7910 — the so-called “Protecting Our Kids Act”— which includes many of the proposals the president laid out.
The bill includes provisions to increase the age limit for purchasing semi-automatic rifles to 21 and places restrictions on high-capacity magazine sales, among others.
‘ENOUGH IS ENOUGH’
Admitting that the U.S. Congress may not agree on all items on his wish list, Biden suggested Americans will make it a central issue in elections. “I believe this time, a majority of the American people won’t give up either,” he said. “I believe the majority of you will act and turn your outrage into making this issue central to your vote. Enough, enough, enough.”
Biden’s speech and the bill came a day after a mass shooting in a hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that killed four people and nine days after the massacre at a school in Uvalde, Texas, which killed 19 children and two teachers.
Gun Violence Archive (GVA), a nonprofit research organization, defines a mass shooting as one in which “four or more people are shot or killed, not including the shooter.”
Since the Uvalde school shooting, at least 15 people have been killed and 67 injured in mass shootings, according to a Worthy News count.
The death toll included the four killed in the hospital shooting.
“What will we be doing as a nation?” Biden asked as families of victims of mass shoutings mourned. He described meeting the sister of a teacher murdered in Uvalde, whose husband died of a heart attack in the aftermath. Their four children are now left as orphans.
Biden said she asked him what she could say to her nieces and nephews. His response was “just to hold them tight.”
After recalling meeting devastated families, Biden urged Americans to change how they deal with guns. “It is time for each of us to do our part,” he said, “for the children, we lost and the children we can save. Let us finally do something,” he stressed. “God bless the families that are hurting. God bless you all.”
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