President Joe Biden said Thursday he was open to a last-ditch effort to ban assault weapons as the 117th Congress draws to a close and Republicans prepare to take control of the House in January.
With Democrats controlling both houses of Congress for a few more weeks, Biden said he would “start counting the votes” to see what support there might be for such legislation.
“I’m going to try to get rid of the assault weapons,” he told reporters during a Thanksgiving Day visit to Nantucket Island off the coast of Massachusetts.
In less than a week, two major mass shootings have claimed the lives of at least five people at a Colorado nightclub and at least six people at a Virginia Walmart, once again renewing the national debate over how to stop these horrible murders. Authorities say the Colorado suspect had both an AR rifle and a handgun, and the now deceased Virginia suspect used a handgun.
Assault-type weapons are frequently seen in the deadliest mass shootings, including the Uvalde school shooting and the Buffalo supermarket shooting that captured national and international attention this year.
Biden has repeatedly said he is “committed to banning assault weapons again” in the United States after successfully helping to implement a ban on new sales of certain semi-automatic weapons and weapons magazines. large capacity in 1994.
Although the term “assault weapon” is often criticized by gun rights advocates because its meaning is not well defined, it generally refers to semi-automatic rifles designed for rapid fire.
“The idea that we still allow the purchase of semi-automatic weapons is sick, it’s just sick,” Biden said Thursday. “It has no redeeming social value, zero, none. Not one single justification for it.
The 1994 assault weapons ban was allowed to expire after a decade, under the Bush administration.
Other potential solutions include red flag laws, which allow a judge to step in and block someone from accessing firearms if they are deemed to be at risk of a crisis. Some gun control advocates say these laws can be very effective, but more public awareness is needed to help them reach their full potential.
Colorado has a red flag law in place, but why it wasn’t used in the case of Anderson Lee Aldrich ― the Colorado club shooting suspect ― is not yet fully understood. .
Biden pointed out the apparent time lapse as he spoke to reporters in Nantucket.
“The idea that we don’t enforce red flag laws…is ridiculous,” he said.
The Huffington Gt