Biden says gun violence is stain on US, urges action

The Nation  |  Apr 16, 2021

President Joe Biden sharply criticized the US "epidemic" of gun violence on Friday, calling it an embarrassment for the country following yet another mass shooting.

"Too many Americans are dying every single day from gun violence. It stains our character and pierces the very soul of our nation," Biden said in a statement after eight people were killed in an overnight shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Indiana. "Gun violence is an epidemic in America. But we should not accept it. We must act."

The suspect in the Indianapolis shooting, who authorities are working to identify, apparently committed suicide on the scene, police said.

Biden again ordered flags flown at half-staff across the country, just two weeks after he issued a similar order following a mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado.

Biden last week rolled out a series of executive actions intended to curb gun violence, describing it as a "public health crisis" in which 316 people are shot every day, and of those wounded 106 succumb to their wounds.

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The president's actions including placing regulations on homemade firearms known as "ghost guns," as well as pistol braces that allow them to be fired similarly to a rifle after one was allegedly used in a mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado.

He also ordered the Justice Department to publish a legislative model for states that currently lack "red flag laws," which allow for an individual who has been deemed to be a danger to themselves or others to have their guns temporarily taken from them via a court order.

Still, he urged the Senate to take up two pieces of legislation that already cleared the House of Representatives that seek to close loopholes in the US background check system for firearms purchases. He also called on Congress to reinstate an assault weapons ban that lapsed in 2004, and also ban high-capacity gun magazines.

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