Two weeks in the past, Parkland father or mother and gun management advocate Fred Guttenberg was sad with President Joe Biden.
During his first press convention on March 25, Biden pivoted away from a query about gun management after mass shootings in Boulder, Colorado, and Atlanta to speak about infrastructure, and Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was killed within the 2018 mass capturing at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, voiced his displeasure on Twitter.
“Two mass shootings in two weeks,” Guttenberg tweeted, in all caps. “You owe us better than this.”
Amid elevated consideration from gun-control activists and the most recent wave of mass shootings that included an ex-NFL participant allegedly capturing 5 individuals in South Carolina on Wednesday, Biden introduced six coverage modifications supposed to curb gun violence at a Rose Garden occasion on Thursday.
Guttenberg, together with different gun-control activists from Florida like Pulse nightclub survivor Brandon Wolf and March For Our Lives representatives, have been there and Biden made a degree to acknowledge them.
“I see my friend Fred Guttenberg,” Biden mentioned, whereas additionally addressing Wolf by title. “They’re here, and their pain is immense. Thank you for having the courage to be here, to continue in this fight.”
As president, Biden doesn’t have the facility to ban assault weapons or develop background checks with out Congress passing a invoice. But Biden’s coverage modifications introduced Thursday, which can largely be applied by the Department of Justice, present that gun management is a precedence. Biden additionally known as on the U.S. Senate to go two gun-control payments that superior from the House of Representatives in March, and reiterated his assist for banning assault weapons and limiting journal sizes.
“We should also ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in this country,” Biden mentioned, whereas declaring gun violence an “epidemic” and “an international embarrassment.”
Six coverage modifications
Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland introduced six coverage modifications on the occasion. The White House instructed the Justice Department to situation a rule to cease so-called “ghost guns” which might be constructed from kits with out serial numbers, new rules that contemplate pistols with stabilizing braces as short-barreled rifles, publishing mannequin state-level “red flag” laws to let people petition courts to take somebody’s weapons away in the event that they’re deemed a menace, extra funds for violence intervention applications, a Justice Department overview of firearms trafficking, and the nomination of a gun-control advocate to steer the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
After the occasion, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki credited Guttenberg’s gun-control work as a part of what led to Thursday’s motion.
“I would say that people like Fred Guttenberg and [Moms Demand Action leader] Shannon Watts and [former congresswoman and gun violence survivor] Gabby Giffords, I mean, these are people who are absolute heroes on getting gun-safety measures in place,” Psaki mentioned. “They led the effort when there was no appetite in Washington and none at the federal level to move forward on putting in place laws around the country. And the president recognizes that, and he has a huge respect and value for the role that they’ve played. That’s why they were here today.”
Guttenberg expresses confidence in Biden
Guttenberg himself held court docket exterior the White House after assembly privately with Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris within the Oval Office.
“I believe that this president is committed to leading on this,” Guttenberg mentioned of his confidence degree on Biden’s dedication to gun management.
Guttenberg mentioned that the final three months “have been filled with hope” in contrast with the three years prior asserting, ”We’re going to get this performed.”
He additionally hinted that political stress in 2022 and past will favor extra gun-control measures.
“I would just encourage everyone in the Senate to pay attention to the last two election results if they want to keep their jobs,” Guttenberg mentioned. “So, I am telling you, gun violence — if someone can name another issue that has a higher rating in public opinion polls than the idea of doing the bare minimum, which is background checks, I don’t know of one.”
Passing gun-control laws in Congress within the subsequent two years will likely be powerful. The invoice to develop background checks to almost all gun purchases doesn’t have the assist of all 50 Democrats within the U.S. Senate, not to mention the 60 votes wanted to beat a filibuster. Most Republicans oppose Biden’s place on weapons, although Florida Republicans in Tallahassee confirmed a willingness to again some gun-control concepts like limiting purchases for younger adults after the 2018 Parkland capturing.
And Wolf, who misplaced his associates Christopher “Drew” Leinonen and Juan Guerrero through the 2016 Pulse capturing in Orlando that claimed 49 lives, famous that Biden visited him after the assault and promised motion.
“Drew and Juan made it to the White House,” Wolf tweeted after Biden known as out their names, together with Jaime Guttenberg, throughout his speech.
“Since my daughter was killed on February 14, 2018, too many days have felt like we’ve been on this freight train going in the wrong direction, and what today did is to put the brakes on that,” Guttenberg mentioned. “It said we’re not doing it the other way anymore.”