US: US President Joe Biden delivered an emotional call for new restrictions on firearms after a gunman opened fire at a Texas elementary school on Tuesday killing at least 19 children and three adults.
“When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?” Biden said at the White House shortly after returning from a five-day trip to Asia that was bookended by tragedy. With First Lady Jill Biden standing by his side in the Roosevelt Room, Biden added, “I am sick and tired. We have to act.”
Just two days before Biden left on his trip, he met with victims’ families after a hate-motivated shooter killed 10 Black people at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York.
|A woman and her child attend a gun rights rally in Utah State, United States.|
The back-to-back tragedies served as sobering reminders of the frequency and brutality of an American epidemic of mass gun violence.
Meanwhile, “Since 2009, there have been 274 mass shootings in the United States, resulting in 1,536 people shot and killed and 983 people shot and wounded,” the group says. The country is swamped with guns. US firearms makers produced over 139 million guns for the commercial market over the two decades from 2000, and the country imported another 71 million.
That includes high-powered assault rifles, which can be found for US$500, and 9 millimeter pistols that combine ease of use, high accuracy and semi-automatic triggers with prices as low as US$200.
Last year, a Pew poll said just 53 percent of Americans want stricter gun laws, and only 49 percent think tougher laws would decrease mass shootings.
The US racked up 19,350 firearm homicides in 2020, up nearly 35 percent over 2019, and 24,245 gun suicides, up 1.5 percent. At 6.1 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants in 2020, the firearm homicide rate was the highest in a quarter century.
– THE HINDU