President Biden responds to Fourth of July shootings, calls for tougher firearm restrictions
President Joe Biden responds to a wave of deadly shootings over the Fourth of July weekend, calling for stricter firearm restrictions.
U.S. President Joe Biden issued a demand for stricter firearm restrictions on Tuesday in response to a series of deadly shootings that occurred over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
In a statement released by the White House, the president expressed his concern and grief over the tragic events, while also commemorating the anniversary of the July 4th parade massacre in Highland Park, Illinois, where seven lives were lost.
“Over the last few days, our nation has once again endured a wave of tragic and senseless shootings in communities across America—from Philadelphia to Fort Worth, Baltimore to Lansing, Wichita to Chicago,” the statement reads.
Reflecting on the recent wave of senseless shootings across America, President Biden stated, "Today, Jill and I grieve for those who have lost their lives, and as our nation celebrates Independence Day, we pray for the day when our communities will be free from gun violence."
The weekend saw several incidents of violence, including a shooting in Philadelphia where four men were killed and two children were injured by a gunman wearing a ballistic vest.
In Baltimore, two people lost their lives, and 28 others were wounded when a duo unleashed a barrage of gunfire at a block party.
In Chicago, at least three people were killed and 27 others injured, including a 5-year-old girl and an 85-year-old man, in a series of shootings.
These tragic events occurred exactly one year after the Highland Park massacre, during which gunman Robert Crimo fired more than 80 rounds from a Smith & Wesson M&P 15 semi-automatic rifle into a parade crowd, resulting in seven deaths and 48 injuries.
Reflecting on this incident, President Biden remarked, "In mere moments, this day of patriotic pride became a scene of pain and tragedy."
The president highlighted the efforts made by Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering, and gun violence survivors in their tireless pursuit of a statewide ban on assault weapons. Their efforts culminated in the passage of the ban, which became law in January.
President Biden emphasized, “Their achievement will save lives. But it will not erase their grief. It will not bring back the seven Americans killed in Highland Park or heal the injuries and trauma that scores of others will continue to carry.”
Biden called upon other states to follow Illinois' example in enacting similar measures and urged Republican lawmakers in Congress to support what he termed "commonsense reforms."
He said, “It is within our power to once again ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, to require safe storage of guns, to end gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability, and to enact universal background checks.”
The president stressed the urgent need for action to address the epidemic of gun violence that continues to devastate communities throughout the nation.
President Biden reiterated his longstanding advocacy for an assault weapon ban, building upon the bipartisan Safer Communities Act that he signed into law last year shortly after the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas. This legislation focuses on enhancing background checks for young gun buyers, allocating funding for mental health services, and providing incentives for states to enact "red flag" laws, which allow for the temporary removal of firearms from individuals deemed a threat to themselves or others.