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Texas school shooting: Joe Biden said to appoint a ‘gun czar’ as massacre revives calls for gun restrictions |  American News

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Activists are calling on US President Joe Biden to appoint a ‘gun czar’ and issue urgent executive orders to address gun violence.

The appeal comes after 21 people lost their lives in America’s latest mass shooting.

School dropout Salvador Ramos made a murderous rampage in UvaldeTexas on Tuesday killing 19 elementary students and two teachers in the deadliest shooting at a US school in nearly a decade.

Gun safety advocates are now pushing Mr. Biden to take tougher action to address this violence.

But already on Thursday, the Democrats’ first attempt to respond to the mass shootings following Buffalo and Uvalde failed in the Senate as Republicans blocked a domestic terrorism bill that would have opened up debate on issues surrounding hate crimes and gun safety.

Prior to the hearing, security activists spoke with White House officials and urged the president to:

• Appoint a Gun Violence Czar
• Make an emergency declaration on armed violence (a situation where a government is empowered to put in place policies that it would not normally be allowed to do)
• Issue an Executive Order (a signed, written, and published directive from the President) on background checks for firearm purchases
• Advocate for the lifting of Senate filibuster if necessary (the rule that requires at least 60 votes in the 100-seat Senate to pass most laws)

The fourth point is particularly important for gun safety activists now that the Senate is split into 48 Democrats and 50 Republicans (two independents) and gun debates tend to follow party lines.

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“When are we going to stand up to the gun lobby? »

Gun ownership as a right has been entrenched in the Constitution since 2008, when the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment (which gives Americans the right to “bear arms) guaranteed the right to own a firearm. fist.

While Mr. Biden has pledged to push for new gun restrictions, the White House wants Congress to act first, to have a more meaningful impact than executive action.

And he says he’s been in touch with top Democrats in Congress regarding next steps for gun legislation.

Democratic-backed bills requiring background checks, banning semi-automatic rifles and strengthening gun safety measures have failed for a decade in Congress over stiff Republican opposition, as well as objections from some moderate and independent Democrats.

Democrats control both houses of Congress – the Senate and House of Representatives – and the presidency, but individual states tend to adopt their own regulations.

Read more:
Sen. Ted Cruz rages over gun reform questions
Sorrow, love, kindness and anger over the latest massacre of innocents
Shooting practice lessons from my nine-year-old – and why handguns got monotonous

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Why only in America? Sky News asks

Biden ‘doesn’t do enough’

Democratic Senator Chris Murphy said their plan was to “work hard to find a compromise”.

“I hope we succeed and the Senate can vote on a bipartisan bill that saves lives,” he said.

But David Hogg, a survivor of the Florida Parkland School Massacresaid Mr Biden was “not doing enough”.

“I’ve spoken to the White House many times,” he said, “and many times we hear over and over again, ‘Well…there’s X thing coming up, there’s Y thing coming up. shows up. “”

White House spokesman Michael Gwin said they “continue to look at all the tools we have to end gun violence,” including through executive actions.

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A senator’s desperate call for action with guns

Since taking office in January 2021, the Biden administration has taken several actions without Congress.

In particular, they demand that “ghost weapons”, which are often assembled from kits, be regulated in the same way as traditional firearms and launch a strike force aimed at suppressing illegal firearms trafficking in the major cities, including New York and Los Angeles.

Po Murray, who chairs the Newtown Action Alliance grassroots group, said the White House needs an office for gun violence prevention.

“Since we elected a gun safety chair, he could definitely do more,” she said.

Meanwhile, hundreds of students from Oxford High School, the school in Michigan where four were killed in November, came out on Thursday and formed a ‘U’ on the football field to show their support for the students and to the families of Uvalde.

Student Andrew Sholtz told the Detroit News, “We went through the same thing. I lost a lot of friends. I thought it would be respectful to help others through this.”

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