Sunday, 29 January, 2023

Biden calls gun control a 'moral obligation,' 10 years after Sandy Hook

Biden calls gun control a 'moral obligation,' 10 years after Sandy Hook

President Joe Biden said Wednesday that America should feel collective "guilt" for its failure to tackle gun violence, as the country marks 10 years since its worst-ever school shooting, at Sandy Hook Elementary.

"We have a moral obligation to pass and enforce laws that can prevent these things from happening again," Biden said in a statement.

"I am determined to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines like those used at Sandy Hook," he said.

The massacre in Newtown, Connecticut left 20 children and six adults dead in a five-minute shooting spree by a young man named Adam Lanza, who was armed with an AR-15 military-style assault rifle. Lanza later killed himself.

The shooting shocked America and the world, sparked heightened security measures at schools, and renewed a contentious fight for gun control laws that continues a decade later.

After 19 children and two teachers were shot dead at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, in May this year, Congress passed legislation expanding background checks and reinforcing measures to get firearms out of the hands of potentially dangerous people.

But a tougher law banning assault rifles expired in 2004 and Congress has repeatedly failed to renew it, even as the country endures mass shooting after mass shooting. This inertia stems largely from opposition from Republicans who cite the constitutional right to gun ownership.