Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Biden sees potential for ‘rational’ Republican approach on guns

WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) – President Joe Biden said Monday that “the Second Amendment was never complete” and that after the Texas elementary school shootings, some would seek to tighten restrictions on high-powered weapons used by gunmen. There may be bipartisan support. ,

“I think things have gotten so bad that everyone is becoming more rational, at least that’s my hope,” Biden told reporters before honoring the nation’s fall in Memorial Day remarks at Arlington National Cemetery. Told.

His remarks came a day after Uvalde traveled to the shattered Texas community, condoling privately for more than three hours with the families of the victims. Sad for the 19 children and two teachers killed in the shootout. Facing chants of “do something” as he skipped a church service, Biden vowed: “We will.”

After the Uvalde visit, Biden spent Sunday night at his home in Delaware. As he arrived at the White House for Memorial Day events, he was asked if he was more motivated to look at the new federal limits on firearms.

“I’ve been very motivated all the time,” he said. “I’ll keep going and we’ll see how it goes.”

In Congress, a bipartisan group of senators spoke over the weekend to see if they can reach a modest settlement on gun law after a decade of mostly unsuccessful attempts. This included encouraging state “red flag” laws to keep guns away from people with mental health problems. A congressional aide said the senators would meet around Tuesday and throughout the week.

“The Second Amendment was never perfect,” Biden said. “You couldn’t buy a cannon when the Second Amendment was passed. You couldn’t go out and buy a lot of weapons.”

Later, President and First Lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, joined the wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Laying a garland of multicolored flowers wrapped in red, white and blue ribbons in front of the tomb, standing in meditation under a cloudless sky in the heat of late May, Biden saluted as he tapped.

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Honoring the fallen soldiers, he said, “Memorial Day is always a day where pain and pride meet together.”

“Today we are free because they were brave,” said the president.

But Biden said the nation’s experiment in democracy is at risk overseas, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and divisions in the country. He called the maintenance of democracy “the mission of our times”.

“Our memorial to him should not be just a day when we stop and pray,” Biden said. “It must be a daily commitment to work, to come together, to be worthy of the price paid.”

In his earlier statements to reporters on guns, Biden said he had not spoken to Republicans on the issue “but my guess is … they will have to keep a close eye.”

There is nowhere near enough support from congressional Republicans for widespread gun measures popular among the public – such as a new ban on assault-type weapons or universal background checks on gun purchases. Still, Democratic advocates are hopeful that meaningful measures can still pass.

Biden said he had taken some executive action on guns “but I can’t outlaw a weapon” and “can’t replace the background check.”

He said he didn’t know where the congressional talks stand, but there is a “realization on the part of rational Republicans” that “we can’t keep repeating ourselves.”

Before returning to Washington, the President and First Lady, whose veteran son Beau Died of cancer due to a brain tumor in 2015, attended church on Monday morning and offered flowers at his son’s grave.

“Today is the day our son died,” Biden said in Arlington, telling families he knew memories like Monday could “reopen that black hole” of pain.

But he added that because of his commitment to America’s ideals, “a part of them still belongs to us, no matter how long ago we lost them.”

The Bidens hosted breakfast in the East Room of the White House with about 130 members of senior organizations, military family groups and senior Defense Department and other administrative officials.

The president, first lady and representatives of five Gold Star families who lost relatives in the war also planted a southern magnolia tree on the White House South Lawn. The tree came from a nearby magnolia plant planted by President Andrew Jackson in 1835.

As the group used shovels to throw dirt at the newly planted tree, Biden smiled and called “the shovel brigade.” He and the First Lady later shook hands with the people gathered in a circle around the tree and prayed silently.


Associated Press Congressional correspondent Lisa Mascaro contributed to this report.

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