President Biden on Tuesday demanded immediate action from Congress on gun control, so he would not have to “wait another minute, let alone an hour” following the deadly shooting Monday at a grocery story in Boulder, Colorado.
The shooting, which left 10 people including a police officer dead, allegedly was carried out by a suspect identified as Ahmad Al-Issa.
Boulder Police Chief Maris Harold said Al-Issa was charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder. While prosecutors have not revealed a motive, journalist Jack Posobiec, citing an unidentified White House official, said President Biden “has been briefed the Colorado shooter had ISIS sympathies.”
In a subsequent tweet, Posobiec said, “It is beginning to look like the Boulder shooting was a jihadist terror attack.”
Biden said Congress should ban “assault weapons,” Fox News reported.
He had worked on such a ban while he was a senator years ago.
“I got that done as a senator. It brought down mass shootings, we can do it again,” Biden claimed.
He urged the Senate to pass two House bills regarding background checks and other issues.
‘All the resources at my disposal’
NBC News reported Tuesday that while he wants action from Congress, Biden also threatened to go it alone if necessary, suggesting executive action was possible.
“As president I’m going to use all the resources at my disposal to keep people safe,” he said.
Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says the Senate will vote on various gun bans and limits, although it is not clear if there are at least 10 Republican senators who would join the Democrats.
Democratic senators on the Judiciary Committee, however, are on board, meeting on Tuesday to call for “expanding background checks and more restrictive gun laws,” NBC reported.
Chairman Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said he wants a “moment of action.”
“Prayer leaders have their important place in this, but we are Senate leaders. What are we doing? What are we doing other than reflecting and praying? That’s a good starting point. That shouldn’t be an end point,” said Durbin.
“We won’t solve this crisis with just prosecutions after funerals. We need prevention before shooting,” he said.
The city of Boulder had imposed a ban on some guns, but it was challenged in court, and a federal judge’s ruling said the state of Colorado preempts cities from applying their own limits on the Second Amendment.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, pointed out that the measures promoted by Democrats essentially would do nothing to stop shootings.
“Every time there’s a shooting, we play this ridiculous theater where this committee gets together and proposes a bunch of laws that would do nothing to stop these murders,” he said. “What happens in this committee after every mass shooting is Democrats propose taking away guns from law abiding citizens, because that’s their political objective.”
An analyst on Fox News from Pace University pointed out that Democratic-run cities with the strictest controls on guns, such as Chicago, also have the highest rates of gun violence.
What is an “assault weapon”?
One problem with a ban on “assault weapons” is that it’s difficult to define them.
The Western Journal noted recently that the definition of an “assault weapon” is is political.
“‘Assault weapon’ is a dangerous, menacing two-word construct that sounds like something the government should step in and immediately ban. Unfortunately, it means nothing,” the Western Journal said. “If you go to your local gun shop, they won’t be selling any ‘assault weapons.’ And it’s not like they’ll be advertising them under a friendlier name – ‘extra-strength firearms’ or what-have-you — because the category doesn’t actually exist. An ‘assault weapon’ is essentially what liberals want to call an assault weapon, usually because it’s a rifle and it looks scary.”
The Western Journal recalled a campaign by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., to ban 205 different “assault weapons.” She had proposed legislation to banish “military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.”
She said when the older “ban” was in place, from 1994 to 2004, “gun massacres declined by 37 percent compared with the decade before.” She said such massacres rose 183% after the ban expired.
She warned that the nation faces “a rise in domestic terrorism, and military-style assault weapons are increasingly becoming the guns of choice.”
“Pretty much none of this is true,” the Western Journal said. “While supporters of the original 1994 bill (authored by Feinstein, because of course) claim a reduction in deaths and massacres while it was in force, even reliably liberal PolitiFact notes ‘[t]he ban’s impact remains unclear,’ the data can be interpreted in a number of ways and no direct causal effect between the ban and lower rates of gun violence or ‘massacres’ can be drawn.”
Commonly condemned characteristics of firearms deemed “assault weapons” include a pistol grip or a threaded barrel.
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