As he visited Monterey Park, California, on Tuesday, President Joe Biden lamented that every few days in the United States, the country mourns a new mass shooting.
Biden argued that daily acts of gun violence, including community violence, domestic violence, suicide, and accidental shootings, may not always make the evening news. Still, they cut lives short and leave survivors and their communities with long-lasting physical and mental wounds.
Before President Biden met with the families and victims of the Star Ballroom Dance Studio shooting on January 21, which killed 11 people and injured nine others, he signed an executive order to stop gun violence and make the country’s neighborhoods safer.
Also, the president told U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to ensure that the laws already in place about background checks are followed.
Biden also told Garland to clarify that part of the law that says who has to do background checks because some gun dealers might not know that they fall under that part of the law.
“We cannot accept these facts as the enduring reality of life in America,” Biden asserted. “Instead, we must together insist that we have had enough and that we will no longer allow the interests of the gun manufacturers to win out over the safety of our children and nation.”
He said his administration’s policy remains that executive departments and agencies would pursue “every legally available and appropriate action to reduce gun violence.”
“Through this whole-of-government approach, my administration has made historic progress to save lives,” President Biden asserted.
“My administration has taken action to keep guns out of dangerous hands and especially dangerous weapons off of our streets; hold gun traffickers and rogue gun dealers accountable; fund accountable, effective community policing; and invest in community violence interventions and prevention strategies.”
Biden has taken several steps that he hoped would stop the mass shootings that have become common in the United States.
Administration officials said it’s up to Congress to act.
“Few policy ideas are more popular among the American people than universal background checks, but Congress refuses to act,” a senior administration official stated. “This move will mean fewer guns will be sold without background checks, and therefore fewer guns will end up in the hands of felons and domestic abusers.”
Meanwhile, Biden called on his cabinet to act, including educating the public on “red flag” laws and addressing firearm thefts. Already, the president was able to get the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act through Congress.
According to the White House, this law gives communities new tools to fight gun violence, such as better background checks for people under the age of 21, money for extreme risk protection orders and other crisis interventions, and more mental health resources to help children who have been affected by gun violence heal from the grief and trauma it has caused.
“I continue to call on Congress to take additional action to reduce gun violence, including by banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, requiring background checks for all gun sales, requiring safe storage of firearms, funding my comprehensive Safer America Plan, and expanding community violence intervention and prevention strategies,” Biden continued.
“In the meantime, my administration will continue to do all that we can, within the existing authority, to make our communities safer.”
Stacy M. Brown is an NNPA Newswire senior national correspondent.
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