After a series of deadly gun attacks, US President Joe Biden has called for tighter gun laws and a ban on assault rifles. “How much more bloodshed are we willing to accept?” Biden asked during an emotional speech at the White House on Thursday evening (local time).
The Democrat called it “ruthless” that Republicans in the US Senate blocked any tightening of regulations. Before the congressional elections in November, he called on Americans to “put this issue at the center of your voting decisions.”
Biden said if a ban on assault rifles is unenforceable in Congress, the minimum age for purchasing these weapons should be raised from 18 to 21. He also called for a ban on the sale of high-capacity magazines, scrutiny of gun buyers and liability for gun manufacturers. “Over the past two decades, more school-age children have died from firearms than duty police officers and active-duty soldiers combined,” the President said. “Think about it.”
For years, many Republicans have opposed stricter regulations such as a ban on assault rifles. The killing spree at an elementary school in Texas last Tuesday fueled the debate about tightening gun laws in the United States. There, a gunman armed with an assault rifle killed 19 children and two teachers before being shot dead by police. The perpetrator was 18 years old.
A good week after the massacre in Texas, a 45-year-old shot four people and himself in a hospital in the US state of Oklahoma on Wednesday. The shooter’s target was his doctor, whom he blamed for his persistent back pain after surgery, Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin said Thursday. In addition to his doctor, he killed another doctor, a receptionist and a patient. He was armed with an assault rifle and a handgun that he had recently acquired legally.
About three weeks ago, a gunman armed with an assault rifle shot dead ten people and injured three others in a supermarket in Buffalo, New York. According to investigators, this act was racially motivated – 11 of the 13 victims were black. Charges were brought against the 18-year-old on Thursday. He faces 25 charges including domestic terrorism and murder as a hate crime.