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Biden signs executive order condemning gun violence near massacre site

PoliticsElectionsBiden signs executive order condemning gun violence near massacre site
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MONTEREY PARK, Calif. — President Biden visited the community Tuesday, still mourning the mass killing of 11 people earlier this year, to announce an executive order calling for background checks for gun sales Although he acknowledged the action fell short of what Congress could achieve.

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Inside the Monterey Park shooting: Dancing, then gunshots

In this largely Asian suburb of Los Angeles, where a day of joy to celebrate the Lunar New Year in January turned to pain and terror as a shooter opened fire inside a dance studio, Biden took a fresh look at those communities. Experienced convulsions of violence who tried to attract attention.

“Enough. Do something. “I’m here to act with you today.”

In addition to background checks, Biden’s executive order directs his cabinet to develop a proposal on how the federal government can better assist communities in the aftermath of mass shootings, aimed at raising resources for human-caused disasters , the way Washington already does for natural disasters. ,

Biden is also urging the Federal Trade Commission to release a public report that would analyze how gun makers market firearms to minors.

Together, the actions amount to the president’s latest attempt to use his executive authority to crack down on gun violence, efforts that are necessarily narrower in scope than the measures urged by gun control activists that must be passed through Congress. approval will be required. While Biden’s allies acknowledge the constraints imposed by the US Constitution and the reality of the current Congress, he is hoping to restart a debate to come up with a response to mass shootings and the country’s struggles. Are.

Biden’s appearance also marked the latest turn in what increasingly looks like a all but certain reelection bid, Monterey Park visit during the three-day West Coast Swing, which features a Signature Foreign Policy Achievementappearance in Las Vegas on Wednesday to discuss fundraisers and prescription drug prices at glitzy venues.

On Monday night, Biden spoke at a house in Rancho Santa Fe, north of San Diego, estimated to cost more than $8 million, and raised $1 million from the roughly 40 attendees. On Tuesday night, he was scheduled to host another fundraiser in Las Vegas.

And while his efforts on gun control are unlikely to bring about the sweeping change that many Democrats seek on the issue, Biden will continue to use it as an election rallying point.

He has continued to call for a ban on assault weapons, background checks on all gun sales, and repeal of gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability. But these types of bills are unlikely to pass Congress, especially with Republicans in control of the House and Democrats holding a narrow Senate majority.

Biden said, “Let’s be clear: None of this absolve Congress of its responsibility to act.” “I am determined, once again, to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.”

Tuesday’s executive order directs Attorney General Merrick Garland to increase compliance among firearms sellers who are violating the law, intentionally or unintentionally, by failing to conduct background checks prior to firearm purchases.

Residents of Monterey Park, California, share their experiences of hearing about the January 21 shooting at a ballroom dance hall that left 10 dead. Washington Post)

According to the White House summary, “The President is directing the Attorney General to move the United States toward universal background checks as soon as possible without additional legislation.” The move aims to further clarify a provision of the bipartisan Safe Communities Act, which Biden signed last year.

that law, enacted in June Following a mass killing at an elementary school in Uvalde, Tex., it was the first gun-control measure passed by Congress in 30 years. While it expanded background checks and provided mental health funding, it was relatively modestly crafted to pass a divided Congress.

Garland is also being directed to develop a plan that would prevent firearms dealers whose licenses have been revoked or surrendered to sell guns.

Biden is also directing his cabinet to raise public awareness of “red flag” laws, which allow Americans to petition a court to determine if someone is dangerous and temporarily access firearms. They should have access. The president also wants to bring more attention to the safe storage of guns, so that children or other inappropriate persons cannot access firearms.

“Every few days in the United States, we mourn a new mass shooting,” Biden wrote in the order. “Daily acts of gun violence – including community violence, domestic violence, suicide and accidental shootings – may not always make the evening news, but they also cut short lives and leave survivors and their communities vulnerable to long-lasting trauma. leave with physical and mental wounds.”

Still, the efforts announced Tuesday could be undone by a future administration less favorable to gun control.

The White House argued that Biden was doing his best under the circumstances. “When you do gun violence policy, you always have to have hope,” said a senior administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity before the announcement. “And I think there’s always hope.”

The official said Biden firmly believes Congress should act, “but in the meantime, he wants the federal government to do everything we can with existing authority to reduce gun violence.”

The event here Tuesday reflected the disheartening aftermath of January’s tragedy, with Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) thanking the president for coming to “our city that holds a hole deep in its heart, a hole that just Haven’t recovered yet.”

“It seems like the attack on Monterey Park was an attack on Asian America,” she said.

A haven for Asian immigrants faces gun tragedy

Chu denounces the killer’s ability to obtain an assault weapon. “He should not have had any weapon that was made for war. Nor should the shooters in Half Moon Bay, Buffalo, Uvalde — and countless other places,” she said. “This carnage must end.”

But the occasion also felt like a political rally, with frequent and loud applause in response to any mention of the need for more gun control.

Biden’s action, despite its limited nature, quickly drew praise from several gun-control groups.

“Thank you, President Biden,” said Gabrielle Giffords, the former congresswoman and gun-violence survivor who founded an advocacy group to stop gun violence. “Much more must be done, but there is no telling how many lives will be saved thanks to the meaningful actions announced today.”

Chris Brown, president of the gun-control nonprofit group Brady, said the executive order was an important step forward.

“While we may ultimately only achieve universal background checks through legislation, Biden’s actions today have the potential to bring us closer to that reality,” Brown said.

Biden began his remarks with a reflection on the loss, citing the tragedy he witnessed in his own life here as a way to connect with those who lost loved ones without warning. Biden’s first wife and infant daughter were killed in a car accident shortly after he was elected to the Senate in 1972, and their son, Beau, died of cancer in 2015.

“Suddenly the grief has to escalate,” Biden said. “An empty chair at the dinner table – birthdays, anniversaries, holidays without them. The everyday things, the little things, the details you miss most. The smell when you open that closet door. … of mornings.” The tea you shared together. The curve of his smile, or the perfect pitch of his laugh.

Biden named each of the 11 people killed in January as 72-year-old “Mr. Nice” who shielded his dance partner, “Sister Sunshine”, 62, who loved playing cards and the piano, and a “lifelong learner”, 64, who had a second career as a pharmacist.

The President said, “Our diversity is the strength of this country.” As he finished his remarks before meeting privately with family members, he looked to the audience and said, “God bless you all. I admire you so much.”

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