In the wake of the massacre at a Tennessee school, the president of the US Joe Biden pointed out today that the majority of Americans oppose the ownership of assault rifles, defending the initiatives he has undertaken to limit gun ownership.
“Most Americans think that owning assault rifles is strange, it is absurdity. They oppose it,” he said, answering questions from reporters about yesterday’s bloodshed at the school in Nashville, Tennessee.
A 28-year-old former student at Covenant School, armed with two assault rifles and a handgun, stormed the school and killed three 9-year-old children and three adultsbefore being shot dead by police.
President Biden expressed his frustration at congressional inaction when it comes to the legal possession of assault rifles – such as the widespread AR-15s. He claimed that he had done everything possible and added: “I can do nothing but appeal to Congress to act responsibly.”
The Democratic president recalled that assault rifles were banned in the US between 1994 and 2004. The measure was passed during Bill Clinton’s presidency when Joe Biden was a senator. “The last time we banned assault rifles, gun violence went down“, Biden noted.
In the United States, gun ownership is widespread, and AR-15 assault rifles in particular are sought after by private individuals. More than 24 million weapons of this type were in circulation in the country last year, according to the National Shooting Foundation (NSSF).
Political analysts believe that President Biden’s call for ban of assault rifles will not be heard by Congress. The majority of Republicans, who control the House of Representatives, strongly oppose this possibility.
47% of Americans support the measure proposed by the Biden administration, compared to 51% who express a negative view, according to an ABC News and Washington Post poll published in February.
One in 20 Americans (i.e. about 16 million US residents) say they own at least one assault rifle (AR-15 type), according to another poll by the Ipsos company on behalf of the Washington Post newspaper.
Source: News Beast
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