‘Do something’: Joe Biden signs rare bipartisan gun control legislation
WASHINGTON: United States President Joe Biden signed a rare bipartisan bill which institutionalises a set of limited gun safety measures on Saturday into law. The first legislative reform in three decades on the issue was sparked by a recent spike in mass shoutings across the country, especially a hate crime in Buffalo that killed ten people and a school shooting in Texas that killed 19 children and two teachers.
Calling it a “monumental day”, Biden acknowledged that the law doesn’t go far enough but claimed it would save lives.
The new measures will enhance background checks for potential gun buyers under 21 empowering authorities to examine their juvenile and mental health records; enhance funding for states to implement laws that allow for the confiscation of guns from people deemed dangerous; and closes what is referred to as the “boyfriend loop” with a ban on domestic abusers from purchasing arms. The package also includes increased funding for mental health programmes and school security.
The legislative push comes even as the conservative dominated Supreme Court, on Thursday, overturned a New York law that imposed restrictions on people from carrying guns in public without a special permit. Even as the judiciary continued to expand the scope of the Second Amendment, the political class - including Republicans, ardent advocates of gun ownership - responded to a shift in public opinion as mass shootings triggering fears across partisan divide.
Referring to tragedies sparked by America’s gun laws, Biden said, “From Columbine to Sandy Hook, to Charleston, Orlando, Las Vegas, Parkland, El Paso, Atlanta, Buffalo, Uvalde, and for the shootings that happen every day in the streets that are mass shootings - and we don’t even hear about them, the number of people killed every day in the streets - their message to us was: ‘Do something’.”
Claiming that they had finally done so, the president said the law includes measures that will save lives. “It funds crisis intervention…it keeps guns out of the hands of people who are a danger to themselves and to others..it finally closes what is known as the ‘boyfriend loop’.”
He added that bill required young people ages 18 to 21 to undergo enhanced background checks. “It includes the first-ever federal law that makes gun trafficking and straw purchases distinct federal crimes for the first time. It clarifies who needs to register as a federally licensed gun dealer, and run background checks before selling a single weapon.”
Rishi Sunak, one of two candidates seeking to become Britain's next prime minister, said Friday's attack on author Salman Rushdie should serve as a wake-up call to the West over Iran, the Sunday Telegraph reported. Indian-born author Rushdie, who spent years in hiding after Iran urged Muslims to kill him over his novel "The Satanic Verses", was stabbed in the neck and torso on stage at a lecture in New York state.
Scotland will on Monday become the first country in the world to ensure universal access to free period products following the passing of landmark legislation in 2020. "Providing access to free period products is fundamental to equality and dignity, and removes the financial barriers to accessing them," said Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison. "We are proud to be the first national government in the world to take such action," she added.
Salman Rushdie has been taken off the ventilator and is able to talk, said his book agent Andrew Wylie, a day after The Satanic Verses author was stabbed at an event in New York. Rushdie remained hospitalized with serious injuries, but fellow author Aatish Taseer had tweeted late evening that he was “off the ventilator and talking (and joking).” Rushdie's agent confirmed the information to Associated Press without giving further details.
US President Joe Biden expressed shock over the "vicious attack" on Salman Rushdie and said that he pray for his health and recovery. White House termed the attack on Salman Rushdie as "appalling" and said that the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris Administration is praying for a speedy recovery of the renowned author. Hadi Matar, who is suspected of stabbing an Indian-born-British author in western New York State on Friday morning during a lecture was arraigned in centralized arraignment on Saturday and was remanded without bail at Chautauqua County Jail. A suspect has been taken into custody.
A 24-year old New Jersey man charged with attempted murder and assault for attacking author Salman Rushdie has pleaded not guilty. Hadi Matar of Fairview, New Jersey was arraigned in centralised arraignment on Saturday and was remanded without bail at Chautauqua County Jail. Authorities with New York State Police told PTI that Matar pleaded not guilty and was held in the Chautauqua County Jail.