One year after the first real significant piece of federal firearms legislation in nearly three decades was signed into law, President Joe Biden wants to implement even tougher restrictions.
The President was in West Hartford, Connecticut on Friday to appear at the National Safer Communities Summit to address a crowd all too familiar with the impact of gun violence.
Marking the somber anniversary of his gun safety bill, which was passed just weeks after the tragic Uvalde school shooting massacre, President Biden said it was only an “important first step” to reducing gun violence in America.
President Biden called on Congress to “take more aggressive steps” by voting to restrict access to assault weapons instead of offering excuses after every mass shooting.
“Prayers are fine. They’re important … but it’s not going to stop it,” President Biden said of the American gun violence epidemic.
“You have to take action. You have to move. You have to do something.”
The President threw down the ultimate gauntlet to the very divided members of the House and Senate:
“If this Congress refuses to act, we need a new Congress.”
Last year’s bill toughened background checks for gun buyers under 25 and sought to keep firearms from domestic violence offenders.
The bill helped states enact red flag laws that make it easier to take weapons away from people judged to be dangerous.
It also increased FBI background checks, which have blocked more than 200 transactions of attempted purchasers under the age of 21.
As a result, prosecutions have surged for unlicensed gun sellers, while new gun trafficking penalties have been charged in more than 100 cases around the country and prosecutions for those who sell firearms without a license have doubled.
And yet, since that bill was signed last summer, the overall number of mass shootings in the United States has soared.
As of Friday, June 16th, there have been at least 26 mass killings in the U.S. so far in 2023, leaving at least 131 people dead, not including shooters who died, the Associated Press reports.
President Biden empathetically told the Connecticut crowd of gun violence survivors and their families that he stood in admiration for turning their “pain into purpose” and promised them he’d never let up on his advocacy for tougher laws.
If only Congressional Republicans cared about saving American children more than that sweet, sweet NRA money padding their bank accounts.
Universal background checks will save lives.
That’s why I signed an Executive Order to move us as close as possible to universal background checks without new legislation.
But let me be clear: to deliver real change and reform, Congress must act.
— President Biden (@POTUS) June 17, 2023
Guns are the #1 killer of kids in America.
More than car accidents and more than cancer. We can’t let that become just another statistic.
Let’s ban AR-15-style firearms and other assault weapons.
— President Biden (@POTUS) June 16, 2023
*THIS IS AN OPINION COLUMN THAT SOLELY REPRESENTS THE OPINIONS OF TARA DUBLIN. HOORAY FOR THE FREE PRESS!
Read more hot takes on Twitter @taradublinrocks & subscribe to her Substack.