President Joe Biden joined those speaking out in recent days following another mass shooting, which this time took place at a mall in Allen, Texas, where eight people, including young children, were killed. Allen is in the area of Dallas and Fort Worth.
In what could be a surprise, a committee in the Texas state legislature recently approved a proposal that would raise the minimum age for purchasing certain long guns, as they’re known. It would still require further legislative approval before being sent to GOP Governor Greg Abbott for a prospective signature, but even some Republican support, which the initiative received when up for a vote in that panel, is a welcome turn for many from the familiar GOP opposition to protections around guns. The Allen shooting wasn’t the only incident driving support for the change. Texans are also still reeling from the attack at an elementary school in Uvalde in that state last year. In that incident, the teenager who perpetrated the assault used a weapon he obtained legally, meaning a change in the laws, as had already been undertaken elsewhere, could’ve meant the massacre was never perpetrated.
At the federal level, Biden continued to push for measures like a ban on assault rifles. Continuing to beat the rhetorical drum in favor of such restrictions shows the clear direction Democrats would take if returned to the White House in 2024, with accompanying control in the House and a majority in the Senate finally in favor of filibuster changes. (They’d likely need at least two more such Senators.)
“Since I signed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act into law and took two dozen executive actions to stem the tide of gun violence, we have made some progress,” Biden said on Sunday. “States are banning assault weapons, expanding red flag laws and more — but it’s not enough. We need more action, faster to save lives. Too many families have empty chairs at their dinner tables. Republican Members of Congress cannot continue to meet this epidemic with a shrug. Tweeted thoughts and prayers are not enough. Once again I ask Congress to send me a bill banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Enacting universal background checks. Requiring safe storage. Ending immunity for gun manufacturers. I will sign it immediately. We need nothing less to keep our streets safe.”