President Biden has issued a strongly-worded plea for lawmakers to impose stricter gun laws, in the wake of the latest spate of mass shootings to rock the nation.
Speaking from the White House Cross Hall, the president called for measures including a ban on assault weapons, stricter background checks and raising the minimum legal age to purchase guns.
The president’s address to the nation comes following three mass shootings in the past three weeks that have claimed the lives of 35 people, including 19 children at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. A visibly emotional Biden asked “how much more carnage are we willing to accept?”, calling on Republican lawmakers to stop blocking gun control laws that have popular support on both sides of the aisle.
“After Columbine, after Sandy Hook, after Charleston, after Orlando, after Las Vegas, after Parkland — nothing has been done,” the president said.
“Enough, enough. It’s time for each of us to do our part,” he continued. “For the children we’ve lost. For the children we can save. For the nation we love.”
Biden urged Congress to reinstate a ban on assault weapons, but stressed that this alone would not be enough. The president repeated calls for stricter background checks when purchasing guns, preventing sales to those with criminal records and new legislation governing the safe storage of guns.
Polling shows that these measures are supported by a majority of both Republican and Democrat voters, however the highly-partisan and evenly-split senate is unlikely to pass most, if any, of the proposed measures.
Biden reserved particularly strong words for those blocking gun control reform.
“My God, the fact that the majority of the Senate Republicans don’t want any of these proposals even to be debated or come up for a vote, I find unconscionable,” the president said.
“We can’t fail the American people again.”