President Joe Biden rails against access to assault weapons after recent spate of shootings

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CNN

President Joe Biden said Thursday he would work with Congress to “try to get rid of assault weapons” after a recent spate of shootings in the US.

“The idea (that) we still allow semi-automatic weapons to be bought is sick, it’s just sick. It has no social redemptive value, zero, none. No single, solitary reason for it,” Biden told reporters at a brief rally outside the Nantucket Fire Department in Massachusetts, where he greeted first responders.

When asked if he would try to take action against guns, the president said, “I’m going to try. I’m going to try to get rid of assault weapons.” When asked if he would try this during the lame duck session, he said, “I’m always going to do it – I have to make that assessment as soon as I come in and start counting the votes.”

A recent shooting at an LGBTQ club in Colorado Springs, Colorado, involved an assault weapon and a handgun, while officials said earlier this week at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia, the gunman was armed with a handgun and several magazines.

Congress returns next week with a jam-packed to-do list in the lame duck session, focused primarily on the government-approved funding bill, as well as other priorities. But any gun law action — particularly the assault weapons ban that Biden has repeatedly called for — doesn’t have the votes to go through. And the reality of a divided Congress at next year’s session makes it highly unlikely that anything will happen over the next two years.

The president also said he “has not been in direct contact” with stakeholders as rail and labor negotiators move toward a possible strike ahead of a critical deadline in December.

“I can’t (comment) because it’s still in the middle of negotiations. My team has been in contact with all parties… and I have – I haven’t reached out directly yet because they are still in talks,” Biden said.

Biden does not have the authority at this point in the process to unilaterally order railroad workers to stay on the job, as he did in a possible July rail freight strike, and would need to approve any action by Congress to ensure that take effect.

And as Ukraine grapples with damage to its critical infrastructure following Russian strikes, Biden said it was “not time to walk away from Ukraine,” as he praised a recent $400 million additional withdrawal announced earlier this week. The White House has also asked Congress for $37.7 billion in additional funding for Ukraine.

“We talked a lot in the last election about whether the other team will continue to support Ukraine. I still believe there is enough support to continue,” he said.

He later added that talks about oil price caps are “in play”.

Biden arrived at the Nantucket Fire Department Thursday morning and greeted a group of firefighters and others gathered outside, a visit that came shortly after he called the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and said he was thankful for the first responders this year. Biden shook hands and posed for photos and was gifted a black Nantucket Fire Department baseball cap, which he wore during his impromptu banter.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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