Federal Ban On Assault Rifles Demanded After Latest School Shooting


As the country deals with the aftermath of another school shooting, this time at a private school in Nashville, Tennessee, where three children and three adults were killed before cops killed the shooter, President Joe Biden is again calling for a ban on assault weapons.

A series of individual states have already imposed such restrictions, although the limits are not in place in much of the country. Assault rifles, as they’re known, were among the firearms assembled by the attacker in Nashville before the violence on Monday, and the firearms have obviously figured into mass shooting after mass shooting across the United States.

“We have to do more to stop gun violence,” Biden said. “It’s ripping our communities apart, ripping the soul of this nation — ripping at the very soul of the nation. And we have to do more to protect our schools so they aren’t turned into prisons. You know, the shooter in this situation reportedly had two assault weapons and a pistol… So I call on Congress, again, to pass my assault weapons ban. It’s about time that we begin to make some more progress.” Biden also referenced the impact on the mental health of survivors of the repeated mass shootings rocking the United States, comparing what these children and adults have experienced to the violence of war and the psychological trauma suffered by soldiers returning from the front.

Predictably, portions of the right-wing outrage machine have already sped into gear, criticizing talk of new restrictions and trying to use particular circumstances of the tragedy to make some irrelevant point. Yet, Americans are still dying, and enacting changes to the laws could prevent such a thing from happening in these situations. The dozens of children shot with an assault rifle at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, last year, where 19 kids were killed, in addition to two adults? A firearm the assailant used in that attack was obtained legally, and with the attacker having been just 18, even just raising the age for purchasing those firearms, as was done in Florida under Republican leadership after the shooting at a high school in Parkland, could’ve meant the tragedy didn’t happen.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also pushed for the ban on assault weapons at her Monday press conference. “In his State of the Union, the President called on Congress to do something to stop the epidemic of gun violence tearing families apart, tearing communities apart,” she said. “How many more children have to be murdered before Republicans in Congress will step up and act to pass the assault weapons ban; to close loopholes in our background check system; or to require the safe storage of guns? We need to do something. Once again, the President calls on Congress to do something before another child is senselessly killed in a preventable act of gun violence.”