Following Monday afternoon’s tragic mass shooting at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado that left ten dead, President Joe Biden called for the United States Senate to pass new gun control measures. The president said that he didn’t “want to wait another minute, let alone an hour” to act on gun violence.
He also used the opportunity to call on the House of Representatives and the Senate to ban so-called “assault weapons,” which Biden noted he had previously accomplished during his time in the Senate.
“I got that done as a senator. It brought down mass shootings, we can do it again,” Biden said. “We can ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in this country once again.”
Biden also vowed that if the House and Senate fail to act he’ll take up the cause on his own.
“As president I’m going to use all the resources at my disposal to keep people safe,” he said.
While speaking at the White House prior to heading to Ohio to promote the passage of the most recent Covid-19 relief package, President Biden also praised Boulder police officer Eric Talley who was killed while confronting the shooter.
“He thought he would be coming home to his family and seven children, but when the moment came, Officer Talley did not hesitate in his duty, making the ultimately sacrifice to save lives, that’s the definition of an American hero,” Biden added.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has already pledged to hold votes on two bills that passed the House earlier this month. The Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021 passed in a vote of 227 to 203 with eight Republican lawmakers supporting the bill, while only a single Democrat, Rep. Jared Golden of Maine, voted against it. If it passes the Senate and is signed into law by President Biden, it would result in new background check requirements for all gun transfers conducted by private parties.
The second bill, the Enhanced Background Checks Act, would close the so-called “Charleston loophole,” which provides that if the current national background check system is not immediately able to determine if a buyer is able to legally obtain a firearm, and the FBI does not conduct an investigation within three days, the seller is allowed to proceed with a sale. The bill extends the initial background check review period to ten days. Two Republicans supported it while two Democrats were opposed.
As it currently stands it is unlikely the two bills would gain the support needed of at least ten Republicans in order to avoid the filibuster in the Senate.
“These are bills that received votes with both Republicans and Democrats in the House. This is not and should not be a partisan issue. This is an American issue that will save lives, American lives. And we have to act. We should also ban assault weapons in the process,” Biden said, as reported by FoxNews.
However, the Democratic-controlled Senate has already been seeking its own measures. Even before Monday’s shooting, a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing was scheduled for Tuesday, during which Democrats called for expanding background checks and more restrictive gun laws. Despite Monday’s tragedy, Republicans immediately voiced opposition.
According to the police, 21-year-old Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa was the shooter in Monday’s horrific crime that left nine civilians and one police officer dead. It was reported to be the seventh mass killing this year according to a database compiled by the Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University.
Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He regularly writes about military small arms, and is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on Amazon.com.