President Joe Biden on Tuesday accused MAGA Republicans of wanting to take money away from the police and “abolish the FBI” as he called for tougher gun laws.
I outlined last week in my budget that we invest more in safer communities and invest in mental health services for those affected by gun violence. Congressional Republicans should pass my budget instead of demanding cuts in these services, abolishing the police, or defunding the FBI.
The president made an emotional plea for tougher gun laws when he signed an executive order to increase the number of background checks.
Biden spoke in Monterey Park, where in January a gunman killed 11 people and wounded nine more in a mass shooting.
President Joe Biden salutes Brandon Tsai (left), hero of the Monterey Park shooting
The president described it as “a day of celebration and light transformed into fear and darkness”.
His audience of families affected by the shooting and community leaders listened in silence as he told them he understood how their “sense of safety” had been shattered.
“I am here to grieve with you, to pray for you, to let you know that you are loved and not alone,” Biden told the crowd.
The silence turned to applause when he spoke about Bradon Tsai, who helped stop the shooting, and when the president praised the multiple Oscars that Everything Everywhere won every time.
Tsai greeted the president at the airport and was in the hall for his remarks. He stood up when Biden pointed at him and the crowd gave him a standing ovation.
Biden reiterated his call for Congress to ban assault weapons and high-capacity stores, something unlikely to happen with Republicans in control of the House of Representatives.
Offensive weapons ban. Ban them again. Do it now. Adequate. Do something. Do something big,’ he said, his voice getting louder as he spoke.
A woman in the crowd at Biden’s speech is wiping away a tear
Biden called on Congress to take action: “Ban assault weapons. Ban them again. Do it now. Adequate. Do something. He said
Brandon Tsai greets President Biden at the airport upon the president’s arrival in Los Angeles
By taking action through an executive order, Biden could bypass Capitol Hill.
His order would increase the number of background checks for gun purchases, promote better and safer firearm storage, and ensure US law enforcement agencies get the most out of a bipartisan gun control law enacted last summer.
“It directs the attorney general to move as close as possible to universal background checks without additional legislation,” a senior administration official said of the order.
“There are some political ideas more popular with the American people then global background checks but Congress has failed to act.”
Biden’s rhetoric on gun laws has grown during his presidency as gun violence has surged in the wake of the COVID pandemic.
His proposed budget includes money to hire 100,000 more street cops, as well as money for crime prevention strategies and community violence intervention.
Republicans originally used the “stop the police” cry against Democrats. But Democrats are trying to turn the tables, using the GOP’s opposition of $1.9 billion to bolster Capitol security and fund police officers in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 riot as a way to defend Republicans’ desire to defund the police.
Additionally, after FBI agents raided Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home with a search warrant, some Republicans have called for the agency to be dissolved.
And the president could use guns as an issue in his re-election campaign. He has not officially announced a second bid for president, but has said he plans to run again.
The January shooting in Monterey Park left 11 people dead and nine injured
The 11 victims of the horrific Monterey Park mass shooting that took place amid Lunar New Year celebrations have been identified as follows: My Nhan, 65, Lilian Li, 63, Xiujuan Yu, 57, Muoi Ung, 67, Hong Jian, 62, Diana Tom, 70, Yu Cao, 72, Xia Yao, 76, Valentino Alvero, 68, Wen Yu, 64, and Ming Ma, 72,
This isn’t the first time Biden has highlighted the Monterey Park shooting as evidence of stronger gun laws.
Tsai sat in First Lady Jill Biden’s box at Biden’s State of the Union address in February.
After the shooter attacked the Star Ballroom Dance Studio. The shooter then headed to another dance center in the nearby Alhambra.
When he entered the Lai Lai Ballroom and Studio, he encountered Tsai, a 26-year-old computer programmer whose family owns the dance studio, the gunman in the hallway, wrestled the gun away, and kicked him out. Cai is credited with stopping another massacre.
He saved lives. “It’s time we do the same, too,” Biden said in his address to Congress. Permanently ban assault weapons.
Biden also mandates better reporting of ballistics data from federal law enforcement to a clearinghouse that allows federal, state and local law enforcement to match shell casings to guns. But local and state law enforcement agencies are not required to report ballistics data, and many do not, making the clearinghouse less effective.
And the president will ask the FTC to release a public report analyzing how gun manufacturers market to minors and use military imagery to market to the general public.
Last year Congress passed legislation, known as the Safer Communities Act, that gun control advocates see as a good start but doesn’t go far enough.
After the law was signed, 11 more mass shootings took place.
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