Thursday, April 8th, 2021
Gun violence in America
This is how Biden wants to stop the US “epidemic”
In the United States, around 40,000 people die each year from firearms. In the past few weeks alone, several massacres have caused horror. Unlike his predecessor, President Biden wants to put a stop to the development and remove the “eyesore”. A “difficult” undertaking, as he admits.
US President Joe Biden has called gun violence in the United States a “plague” and an “eyesore” for the country. “This is a plague, Christ, and it has to end,” said Biden when presenting measures against gun violence in the rose garden of the White House. The Democrat pointed to several massacres that had caused horror in the past few weeks, as well as daily deadly violence across the country.
“The fact that so many people die by gun violence in America every day is an eyesore on the character of our nation,” said Biden. “There have been enough prayers, now is the time to act.”
The President presented several ordinances to curb gun violence. Stricter rules are to be enacted for so-called ghost weapons, which can be assembled by the users themselves and have no serial numbers. New specifications should also apply to upgraded pistols.
Ban on selling assault rifles
Other efforts include helping authorities address violence in the community and producing the first comprehensive US gun trafficking report since 2000.
At the same time, Biden called on Congress to take further measures by law. Among other things, the president demands a ban on the sale of assault rifles and more extensive background checks for gun buyers. However, it is highly uncertain whether a majority will be found in Congress.
Biden admitted that discussions about gun law in the US are “difficult”. But an “overwhelming majority” of citizens want change. Biden stressed that his actions would not affect the constitutional right to own weapons.
He also does not want to take action against assault rifles of a military nature such as the widespread AR-15. The gun is used by the perpetrators in many rampages, but is also popular with marksmen and gun enthusiasts. As a senator in 1994, Biden successfully campaigned for a ban on assault rifles. However, the law expired a decade later and has not yet been renewed, largely because of opposition from the Republicans.
Biden also nominated David Chipman as the new head of the Federal Police Agency ATF. Chipman is believed to be a proponent of stricter gun laws. The ATF is responsible, among other things, for the prosecution of violations of the gun law. Since 2015, the agency no longer has a director appointed with the approval of the Senate.
Around 40,000 deaths every year
Attempts by the Democrats to tighten gun laws have repeatedly failed over the past few decades, and even former President Barack Obama made little progress on the whole. The powerful gun lobby NRA has many allies in the US Congress, especially in the Republican Party.
The Republican Trump, who left the presidency in January, vigorously advocated the right to private gun possession and, despite several massacres during his tenure, refrained from any major initiatives to tighten gun law.
In the United States, around 40,000 people die each year from firearms. Almost two thirds of them are suicides. Despite these numbers, there is massive resistance, especially among the conservative Republicans, to tightening gun laws.