President Biden Pushes for Gun Control Legislation
On Thursday evening, at 7:30 PM, President Biden held a prime-time address to talk about the gun control situation. This was just one day after a man had killed four at a hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma, including a surgeon who had performed back surgery on the gunman.
Overall, the message of the President’s speech was directed at Congress. He called on them to get something done as quickly as possible, saying that enough is enough. The President also took a little time to reflect on the increasing number of shootings, including the tragedy that took place at Robb Elementary in Uvalde Texas in the week prior.
The number one thing President Biden asked for during this address was for a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. This is a measure that he has been calling for long before his first day as President. While President Biden would find that solution to be the most ideal, he did give an alternative if a ban is not possible to get through Congress. That alternative would be to raise the minimum age requirement to purchase these items from 18 to 21 across the entire country. The President is also asking for several other measures, including stronger background checks, red-flag laws, and to repeal the immunity shield that gun manufacturers largely hold to avoid being sued for mass shootings. President Biden is also asking Congress to include legislation that would address the mental health crisis across the country.
Meanwhile, both the House and Senate have been working on their own measures for gun control, with the two bodies having different ideas on what gun control should look like. There is a package currently on the move in the House, which includes several of the measures that the President spoke about Thursday night. However, while this package may be successful in passing the House, it is likely to fail in the Senate due to the fact that it would have to pass the 60-vote threshold.
On the other hand, a fairly large group of bipartisan senators have been meeting over the past two weeks to discuss some gun control related measures including red flag laws, mental health, stronger background checks,and funding for school security. We should know next week whether those talks are making any headway.
In his address, President Biden expressed his belief that if Congress fails to get anything passed on this matter, the American people will respond in a strong way through their vote, as the midterm elections are quickly approaching, with many primaries already passed or on the way. With that in mind, these next few weeks will likely be some of the most crucial when it comes to legislative business and how the matter is handled.