Joe Biden reiterated his calls Thursday to ban assault weapons after mass shootings at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs on Saturday and a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia, on Tuesday left 11 people dead.
While visiting a firehouse on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, to thank first responders on Thanksgiving, Biden told reporters he would try to pass some form of gun control before a new Congress takes office in January, b perhaps renewing his attempt to ban assault weapons.
“The idea that we will still allow the purchase of semi-automatic weapons is sickening. It’s just sick. It has no social redeeming value, zero, it has no social redeeming value. It’s not just a single rationale but profits for gun manufacturers,” Biden said.
“I’m going to try. I’m going to try to get rid of assault weapons,” Biden said.
The shootings in Colorado Springs and Chesapeake are just two of the more than 600 mass shootings so far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive, using the definition of four or more shootings or killings, without the shooter in the included.
Another mass shooting happen across the country in the past week. Sunday, four people i Oklahoma was gunned down at a marijuana farm. Meanwhile, a mother and her three children were killed in RichmondVirginia, Friday.
The President’s efforts to ban assault weapons will be even more difficult next year with Republicans in control of the House of Representatives.
In July, the Democratic-controlled House run ban on assault weapons but he was doomed in the Senate.
The last time the legislature passed an assault weapons ban was in 1994. A 2019 study in Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery showed that the number of mass hunting deaths had decreased and that the law, which expired in 2004, was in effect.
Biden called two owners of the Colorado Springs nightpot Club Q, Nic Grzecka and Matthew Haynes, to offer condolences after the attack on their venue and to thank them for their contributions to the community, the White House said.
Speaking to the Associated Press, Grzecka said the tragedy at his nightclub came amid a new “kind of hatred”.
“It’s different walking down the street holding my boyfriend’s hand and teasing him [as opposed to] a politician who involves a drag queen with their children’s groomer,” said Grzecka. “I’d rather be spit on the street than hate to be as bad as where we are today.”
Earlier this year, Florida’s Republican legislature passed a bill that prohibited teachers from discussing gender identity or sexual orientation with younger students. A month later, online references to “pedophiles” and “grooming” in relation to LGBTQ+ people rose 400%, according to a report from the Human Rights Campaign.
“A different kind of hatred is created when we lie about our community and they do something they’re not,” Grzecka said.
Biden also addressed the mass shooting i Chesapeakewhere a Walmart supervisor fatally shot six co-workers on Tuesday before turning the gun on himself.
“Due to yet another horrific and senseless act of violence, there are now more tables across the country that will have empty seats this Thanksgiving,” he said.
A witness has since said the Walmart gunman appeared to be targeting specific people.
Jessica Wilczewski told the Associated Press that workers had gathered in a warehouse break room to begin their overnight shift late Tuesday when crew chief Andre Bing walked in and opened fire with a handgun. While another witness described Bing as shooting wildly, Wilczewski said she saw him targeting certain people.
“The way he was acting, he was going hunting,” Wilczewski told The Associated Press on Thursday. “The way he was looking at people’s faces and the way he did what he did, he was picking people out.”