Biden Unites Americans For Universal Background Checks After New Mass Shooting

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President Joe Biden released a frustrated public statement after another mass shooting that this time took place in Louisville, Kentucky, where five people were killed by an individual in his young 20s who had worked, including as an intern, at the company whose location he targeted for years and was set to lose his role.

“How many more Americans must die before Republicans in Congress will act to protect our communities?” Biden said. “It’s long past time that we require safe storage of firearms. Require background checks for all gun sales. Eliminate gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability. We can and must do these things now. A strong majority of Americans want lawmakers to act on commonsense gun safety reforms. Instead, from Florida to North Carolina to the U.S. House of Representatives, we’ve watched Republican officials double down on dangerous bills that make our schools, places of worship, and communities less safe. It’s unconscionable, it’s reckless, and too many Americans are paying with their lives.”

Even a majority of Americans support the idea of a ban on assault weapons! In polling done at the beginning of this month by YouGov in association with The Economist, a solid majority of overall respondents expressed support for a ban on assault rifles. As also previously reported here, a full 46 percent of overall respondents said they “strongly” support such a ban, while 17 percent said they favor the idea “somewhat.” Such bans are in place in certain, individual states around the country, but reinstating something similar on the national level has yet to materialize, despite pleas. Larger portions of the country also support imposing universal background checks for gun purchases — measures also in place in only some locales and contexts so far. (They’re needed for purchases from federally licensed dealers.)

The Louisville attack took place during a morning meeting before the bank opened for service that day, and those swept up in the violence included staff. The victims included a friend of the mayor of Louisville and governor of Kentucky, the latter of whom is Democrat Andy Beshear. Also injured in the assault was a police officer who was shot in the head although has not succumbed to his injuries, instead undergoing evidently successful medical care. In very specific terms, Republican policy decisions have been moving the other direction, towards looser regulations around weapons. In Florida, GOP Governor Ron DeSantis recently signed an allowance for covertly carrying weapons without a permit.