Overall, a majority of Americans want stricter gun laws, but legislative gridlock has largely prevented federal change.
WASHINGTON DC, DC – President Joe Biden said Friday he is determined to stop gun violence in America as he officially established the first federal office dedicated to finding solutions and supporting devastated communities. disrupted by shootings.
“After every mass shooting, we hear a simple message… do something. Let’s do something,” he said from the Rose Garden, where he was joined by lawmakers and families of victims of gun violence. “My administration has worked tirelessly to do something. “
A new office on gun violence prevention will be established led by Vice President Kamala Harris, a former prosecutor whose experience is perfect for this effort, Biden said. The office’s goals include ensuring the bipartisan gun safety legislation passed last year is fully implemented nationwide along with Biden’s executive actions to prevent gun violence.
It will seek to find new actions the White House could take unilaterally as further congressional support for gun safety legislation appears slim. It will aim to build better support systems in states and cities, and coordinate support for families who have experienced mass shootings and violence.
“Shootings are the ultimate superstorm,” Biden said.
But the office is limited in what it can do. To tighten restrictions or pass a ban on so-called “assault weapons,” like Biden called many times, Congress will need to pass legislation. That seems unlikely. In the year since the 2022 law passed, Republican support for the restrictions has declined.
Still, Biden and Democrats are embracing gun safety as a major party cheerleader for 2024, especially among younger voters. The President participated on Friday by Rep. Maxwell Frost, D-Fla.youngest member of Congress who said he got into politics because “I didn’t want to get shot at school.”
Guns are the number 1 killer of children in America. So far this year, 220 children under the age of 11 have died from guns and 1,054 children between the ages of 12 and 17 have died.
“We all want our children to have the freedom to learn how to read and write instead of hiding away, for God’s sake,” The President said.
Overall, a majority of Americans want stricter gun laws, regardless of their state’s current gun laws. That desire can be binding to the perceived impact among some Americans of what fewer guns might mean for the country — specifically, fewer mass shootings.
As of Friday, there have been at least 35 mass killings in the US so far in 2023, leaving at least 171 people dead, not including the dead shooters, according to the database maintained by the Associated Press and USA Today in cooperation with Northeastern University.
Harris said while this violence impacts all communities, it does not do so equally — communities of color are more likely to suffer.
“I saw firsthand what a bullet does to the human body,” she said. We cannot normalize any of this.”