WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Thanksgiving, President Joe Biden stated to reporters that the ability for individuals to enter a gun store and purchase semi-automatic firearms is “sick” and has “no social redeeming value” following the latest spate of mass shootings in the United States, and continued his push to ultimately have the weapons banned.
Biden’s comments come following a massacre at a gay nightclub on Friday that left 5 dead, followed by a Virginia Walmart manager running amok through their store with a handgun on Thursday that left at least 6 killed.
“I’m sick and tired of these shootings. We should have much stricter gun laws. Look, the idea that we’re not enforcing red-flag laws, period, just based on knowledge, not on parents saying or a loved one saying you should arrest this person now for his own sake, is ridiculous,” Biden said. “The idea we still allow semiautomatic weapons to be purchased is sick. It’s just sick. It has no social redeeming value. Zero. None. Not a single, solitary rationale for it except profit for the gun manufacturers.”
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Biden has been a regular proponent of outlawing the sale of semi-automatic firearms, up to and including handguns, although he has admitted during a CNN town hall event last summer that the chances of his administration succeeding are slim.
“The idea you need a weapon that can have the ability to fire 20, 30, 40, 50, 120 shots from that weapon, whether it’s a, whether it’s a 9mm pistol or whether it’s a rifle, is ridiculous,” Biden said. “I’m continuing to push to eliminate the sale of those things, but I’m not likely to get that done in the near term.”
However, Biden’s wording on semi-automatic firearm bans – including arguing that “clips that have multiple bullets in them” should not be allowed to be sold – have generated confusion and concerns that this could consist of a blanket ban on almost all firearms, which would run contrary to the protections afforded by the Second Amendment.