After the Newton elementary school massacre, Barack Obama made a similar plea, wiping a tear. On Thursday, Joe Biden called on the US Congress to find a way to restrict and reprimand the sale of assault rifles, nearly ten days after the massacre of 19 Texas schoolchildren and teachers for elected Republicans who opposed them.
“How much carnage are we prepared to accept? The American President, repeating, during his address to the nation from the White House, rebuked “enough” of the frequent shootings that mourn America, with firearms that, since 2020, have become a The main cause of death Among those under the age of 19. Behind his desk are 56 candles representing the victims of these massacres in all US states and territories. After the shooting at Ovaldi Elementary School, a supermarket in Buffalo, and the shooting Wednesday at a hospital in Tulsa, he insisted, “a lot of everyday places (became) places to kill, battlegrounds.”
There is no chance in the Senate
Joe Biden called for a national ban on the sale of semi-automatic assault rifles, including AR-15s, between 1994 and 2004. But, recognizing the difficulty of passing such a measure in Congress, where it would take 10 Republicans to convince the senators, he said: You should at least raise the minimum legal age” to acquire such weapons, from 18 to 21. Even on this lower scale, at the moment, it seems elusive.
He also called for a ban on high-capacity magazines, enhanced criminal or psychological background checks for potential buyers, and a vote on a text requiring individuals to keep their weapons closed. “Over the past 20 years, more schoolchildren have died from gunfire than the total number of police and soldiers who died while on duty,” he said. Think about it. The Democratic president estimated that the “Second Amendment” to the US Constitution guaranteeing gun ownership is “not absolute.”
“I’m in favor of doing (…) a small group of Republican and Democratic senators trying to find a way, but my goodness, the fact that a majority of Senate Republicans don’t want any of these proposals to be debated or put to a vote, I find unacceptable” . “We cannot betray the American people again,” he continued during his 17-minute speech. It’s time for the Senate to do something. »
“Optimism” Republican Senator
“Thank you, Mr. President,” Senator Chris Murphy wrote on Twitter. “We have to do something. We can,” continued this Connecticut-elected official, forever marked by the shooting of Sandy Hook (26 killed including 20 children in 2012), leading the Republican-Democrat discussion group.
The challenge for this group is to find measures that can win the approval of ten Republican senators, and are necessary because of the qualified majority in the Senate. But in a country where more than 30% of adults own at least one firearm, conservatives are staunchly opposed to any actions that would violate the rights of “law-abiding citizens.”
So discussions in the Senate are currently revolving around limited proposals, such as background checks for gun buyers, which the associations have been calling for years.
Can the current negotiations succeed in the Senate where all others have failed, especially those that began under Barack Obama after the Sandy Hook massacre? “There is growing momentum for us to get something done,” Senator Chris Murphy said on Twitter earlier. Republican Senator Pat Toomey also expressed “optimism.”