February 15th, 2021
‘Time to Act Now’ on Gun Law Reform, Biden Tells Congress 3 Years after Parkland Shooting
President Joe Biden on Sunday urged Congress to pass new gun legislation to reduce violence, a call coming exactly three years after the Parkland school shooting in Florida in which a gunman murdered 17 people.
"The time to act is now," Biden said in a statement on the grim anniversary in his first attempt to boost gun control, a policy traditionally favored by Democrats.
"This administration will not wait for the next mass shooting to heed that call.We will take action to end our epidemic of gun violence and make our schools and communities safer," the President declared.
He urged Congress to pass legislation requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and introducing liability for gun manufacturers when their products are involved in shooting incidents.Biden said he's calling on Congress to "enact commonsense gun law reforms, including requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and eliminating immunity for gun manufacturers who knowingly put weapons of war on our streets" before the next mass shooting. "We will take action to end our epidemic of gun violence and make our schools and communities safer."
Nikolas Cruz, the gunman in the Parkland Shooting, who killed 14 students and 3 staff members, aged 19 at the time, was able to buy a rifle despite his history of mental health problems.He is still awaiting trial.This would not stop individuals who are mentally healthy at the time of purchase but develop depression afterwards. It would also not provide protection from religious extremists such as radical Islamic terrorists since asking questions about one's religion is illegal.
After the shooting, new gun control legislation was passed by the Democrat-controlled House but was rejected by the Republican-controlled Senate.In the new Congress, however, the Senate is divided 50:50, with Vice President Kamal Harris holding a tie-breaking vote.A vote to enforce stricter gun controls will almost certainly end up in front of SCOTUS as this will be immediately challenged by individual states and gum manufacturers and their customers. With a conservative leaning court, it is very likely to be deemed unconstitutional at least in part.
Speaking on the grim anniversary, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi echoed Biden’s call, and vowed a new try at stricter gun control legislation.The PLCAA had bipartisan support when it passed years ago. Democrats who claim they are trying to unite the country may lose a great deal of support if they push too far. "Now, working with the Democratic Senate and Biden-Harris Administration, we will enact these and other life-saving bills and deliver the progress that the Parkland community and the American people deserve and demand," she said.
"We will enact these and other lifesaving bills and deliver the progress that the Parkland community and the American people deserve and demand," she said in a statement.
Opposition to gun law reform is based on the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution ratified back in 1791, which stipulates the right to bear arms.The Supreme Court is currently majority conservative leaning with several justices who are in close alignment with Scalia's fundamental legal views on gun ownership.
Some Democrats in Washington appear “confident” for the first time in more than 20 years that some gun law reform is possible.Because of their slim majority in the Senate, they plan to focus on points less likely to be opposed by the Republicans such as universal background checks and safe storage."I've always believed that we should get background checks done because it's probably the most popular measure," said Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, an advocate for gun reform. "And once Republicans see the sky doesn't fall, we can work on other things."