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Biden says US has ‘moral obligation’ to tighten gun laws in statement commemorating Sandy Hook shooting massacre

‘We have a moral obligation to pass and enforce laws that can prevent these things from happening again’

Andrew Feinberg
Wednesday 14 December 2022 19:27 GMT
It's The 10 Year Anniversary Of The Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting

President Joe Biden on Wednesday said the US “should have societal guilt” from not passing meaningful gun control legislation a full decade after a gunman used a high-powered rifle and high-capacity magazine to murder 20 young students and six staff members at a Newtown, Connecticut elementary school.

“Ten years ago today at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, our nation watched as the unthinkable happened. Twenty young children with their whole lives ahead of them. Six educators who gave their lives protecting their students. And countless survivors who still carry the wounds of that day,” said Mr Biden, who added that America should bear the guilt as a society for “taking too long to deal with this problem”.

“We have a moral obligation to pass and enforce laws that can prevent these things from happening again. We owe it to the courageous, young survivors and to the families who lost part of their soul ten years ago to turn their pain into purpose,” he said.

Earlier this year, Mr Biden signed the first bipartisan piece of gun control legislation to pass Congress in decades, the Safer Communities Act. His administration has also taken steps to prohibit the use of so-called “ghost guns” and has put more resources into countering firearms trafficking.

But the president said the US “must do more” and reiterated his call for a ban on the military-style semiautomatic rifles commonly known as “assault weapons,” such as the AR-15.

“We must eliminate these weapons that have no purpose other than to kill people in large numbers. It is within our power to do this - for the sake of not only the lives of the innocents lost, but for the survivors who still hope,” he said.

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