Biden sees possibility of ‘rational’ Republican approach to guns | Government and politics


By WILL WEISSERT – Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden said Monday that the “Second Amendment was never absolute” and that after the shooting at a Texas elementary school, there may be bipartisan support for tightening restrictions on the type of high-powered weapons used by the shooter.

“I think things have gotten so bad that everyone is becoming more rational, at least that’s my hope,” Biden told reporters on the White House lawn after returning to Washington.

His comments came a day after the president visited the shattered Texas community of Uvalde, mourning privately for more than three hours with anguished families mourning the 19 children and two teachers who died in the shooting. Facing chants of “doing something” as he left a church service, Biden vowed, “We’ll do it.”

Upon arriving from Delaware for the Memorial Day events, Biden was asked if he was now more motivated to see new federal gun limits.

“I was pretty motivated throughout,” he said. “I will keep attacking and we will see how it goes.”

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In Congress, a bipartisan group of senators met over the weekend to see if they could reach even a modest compromise on gun legislation after a decade of mostly unsuccessful efforts. This involved encouraging state “red flag” laws to keep guns away from people with mental health issues.

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

There isn’t enough support from congressional Republicans for broader gun measures popular with the public — like a new ban on assault-style weapons or universal background checks on gun purchases. ‘fire arms. Still, Democratic advocates hope meaningful measures can still be passed.

Biden said he hasn’t spoken to Republicans about the issue “but I guess they’re going to have to take a closer look.”

The president also said that “it makes no sense to be able to buy something that can fire up to 300 rounds” and added: “The idea of ​​these high-powered weapons, there’s just no rational basis.”

Biden said he took executive action on guns “but I can’t ban a gun” and I can’t “change background checks.”

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

President and First Lady Jill Biden, whose veteran son Beau died of a brain tumor in 2015, attended church near their home in Delaware and visited their son’s grave early Monday morning.

After flying to the White House, they hosted a closed Memorial Day breakfast in the East Room with about 130 members of veterans’ organizations, military family groups, and senior Department of Health officials. Defense and other administration officials.

The couple were later joined by Vice President Kamala Harris, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at Arlington National Cemetery to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Later, the Bidens planned to honor the families of military personnel killed with the planting of a magnolia tree on the South Lawn of the White House.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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