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Biden says ‘second amendment is not absolute’ after Texas shooting

AP Photo/Alex Brandon
President Joe Biden listens to Vice President Kamala Harris speak in the East Room of the White House on Wednesday, May 25, 2022, in Washington.

President Biden on Wednesday called for more gun control after a mass shooting at a Texas elementary school left 19 children and two adults dead, arguing in a White House address that the “second amendment is not absolute.”

Biden asked “when in God’s name will we do what needs to be done” about the “amount of carnage that goes on in this country,” as he pushed for what he called “common sense” gun control laws in the wake of one of the nation’s worst shootings.

“While they clearly will not prevent every tragedy, we know certain ones will have significant impact and have no negative impact on the Second Amendment,” Biden said of gun control laws, according to a video shared by the Associated Press.

“The Second Amendment is not absolute. When it was passed you couldn’t own a cannon, you couldn’t own certain kinds of weapons. There’s just always been limitations.”

The president’s comments drew intense criticism from conservatives and gun rights activists, who noted the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms includes the words “shall not be infringed”. One Florida senator earlier on Wednesday tweeted at Biden, “try to take our guns and you’ll learn why the Second Amendment was written in the first place.”

The shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde ignited a firestorm, coming just 10 days after a mass shooting at a supermarket store in Buffalo, New York. The 18-year-old Texas gunman purchased two AR-15-style rifles legally before opening fire at the elementary school.

Democrats in Congress renewed calls to pass major gun control legislation, such as an expanded background check bill stalled in the House and a federal assault weapons ban that expired in 2004.

Biden, who helped pass the federal assault weapons ban while he was a senator, on Wednesday said he was astonished that the gunman walked into a store and purchased “weapons of war designed and marketed to kill.”

The president also appeared to call out gun rights lobbyist groups such as the National Rifle Association (NRA), which is set to hold a conference this week in Houston, around 300 miles from the scene of the shooting.

“Where’s the backbone? Where’s the courage to stand up to a very powerful lobby?” Biden asked. “We’re here today for the same purpose to come together and say, ‘Enough.'”

Tags Biden Gun control Joe Biden mass shooting second amendment Texas Uvelda
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