by Daniel Shen
Published Dec. 1st, 2021
The position of firearms in America is a staple issue for much of the population. The 2nd amendment states that “… the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed,” yet some people question this right today.
This is particularly evident when looking at the opinions held by elected officials regarding gun laws. According to a Pew Research Center poll in April, 20% of Republicans believe gun laws should be stricter, while 81% of Democrats believe gun laws should be stricter. Joe Biden, as a Democrat, has continued to push for more gun control measures.
Joe Biden’s role as president has afforded him the power to address these issues significantly. On April 8th, Biden gave a speech in the Rose Garden and stated that “Gun violence in this country is an epidemic.” Biden labeling gun violence an “epidemic” calls back to the Coronavirus outbreak, signaling the issue’s severity to his supporters.
According to the Gun Control Archive, there have been one-hundred-forty-two shootings since Joe Biden has taken office (shooting defined as an event where at least four people have gotten injured or killed with a gun). This is an incredibly high number of injured people, and could be damaging to his image. Biden is fighting hard to control the amount of gun violence for the rest of his presidency because of this severity.
One of Biden’s proposals is an almost five-billion-dollar investment over eight years to strengthen community violence intervention programs.
Biden is also urging Congress to pass two bills which will strengthen background checks for potential gun buyers and close the infamous gun show loophole, where sellers at gun shows and private sales are able to sell arms without doing background checks.
Many support both of these bills, but they need ten votes from Republicans to pass. So far, many Republicans have come out against Biden’s gun control measures. For example, on Fox News, Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) stated that “[Biden] doesn’t believe [the 2nd Amendment is] actually in the Constitution, he clearly does not believe in the right to keep and bear arms.”
Passing these bills will prove difficult because of the lack of Republican support, but Biden is working hard to make it happen.