WASHINGTON — President Biden said on Wednesday, on the 10th anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, there should be “social guilt” for the failure of legislation to ban “assault weapons.”
On December 14, 2012, Conn. Twenty-six and seven-year-old students and six staff members were killed at a school in Newtown. Gunman Adam Lanza, 20, killed his mother and legally owned her. A semi-automatic rifle like the Bushmaster AR-15 does the slaughter before it kills itself.
“Ten years ago today … our nation watched the unthinkable happen,” Biden said in a statement. “We have the community to blame for taking so long to solve this problem.”
Biden was vice president at the time and later chaired the Obama administration’s gun policy task force.
“We have a moral obligation to pass and implement laws that will prevent this from happening again.” We owe it to the brave, young survivors and families who lost a part of their hearts ten years ago to turn their pain into purpose,” Biden said.
“A few months ago, I signed the bipartisan Safer Communities Act into law. We dealt with ghost guns that didn’t have serial numbers and were harder to track. We have fought the arms trade and increased resources to prevent violence.”
“Nevertheless, we need to do more. “I am determined to ban the assault weapons and high-capacity magazines used at Sandy Hook and countless other mass shootings in America,” Biden continued.
“It was enough. Our commitment is clear. We must eliminate these weapons that have no other purpose than to kill large numbers of people. It is our power to do this not only for the innocent lives lost, but for the survivors who still have hope.
AR-15s are popular among gun enthusiasts for self-defense, but they are the weapon of choice for mass shootings. is estimated to be between 10 million and 20 million AR-15 style guns legally owned in the US.
In May, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos killed 19 students and two teachers with a Daniel Defense AR-15 rifle at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
Semi-automatic rifles were also used to kill 49 people at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando in 2016, 60 people at a country music festival in Las Vegas in 2017, 26 people at a church near San Antonio in 2017, and 23 people in 2019 in El. Paso Walmart store and 10 people at a Buffalo grocery store last May.
Despite former President Donald Trump, support for gun control generally cuts across party lines gun rights advocates were shocked In response to the 2018 killing of 17 people by 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, who used a legally purchased AR-15 rifle at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, he expressed a willingness to reform.
Trump has endorsed an age limit for semi-automatic rifles, background checks on private gun sales and reforms that would allow police to “get the gun first, go through due process second” to reduce the risk of the mentally ill.
“I like getting the gun early,” Trump said at the time. “Like this crazy thing that just happened in Florida. He had many firearms; they saw everything. It would take a long time to go to court. You could do what you say, but get the gun first and then go through the proper process.
The Trump administration also banned “bump stocks,” which accelerate the rate of fire of semi-automatic rifles, in response to the Las Vegas concert massacre.
In June, Biden signed bipartisan legislation encouraging improved background checks for young adults who buy guns and so-called “red flag” laws that allow for the temporary confiscation of guns from people who pose a safety threat.
In 1994, Congress passed a 10-year ban on “assault weapons,” including semiautomatic weapons, as part of a broader crime bill authored by then-Senator Biden. It has since been accused of causing “mass incarceration” by enforcing the law and encouraging states to adopt harsher criminal penalties.
Last year, 35 Democrats in the Senate introduced an assault weapons ban, but it failed to gain traction.
More gun control legislation is unlikely to pass in Congress in the near future, and Republicans are more likely to win back control of the House next month.