White House says Republicans ‘lack courage’ for meaningful gun reform

White House press secretary says the lack of a response from the GOP is ‘unacceptable’

Andrew Feinberg
Wednesday 29 March 2023 20:04 BST
‘I own two shotguns, but we need to act’: Biden speaks against war weapons after Nashville shooting

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Wednesday slammed Republicans’ lack of interest in enacting stronger gun laws in the wake of the recent mass shooting at a Tennessee elementary school as “unacceptable”.

The White House added that the GOP lacks the fortitude to address the recurring horror of seeing children gunned down in their places of learning.

Ms Jean-Pierre was speaking to reporters at the daily White House press briefing when she was asked about Republican arguments that it’s impractical to enact the renewed assault weapons ban favoured by Mr Biden because 25 million military-style semiautomatic weapons are currently in Americans’ homes.

Pressed on how President Biden would respond to that argument, she replied: “That’s unacceptable”.

“That’s our response – it's unacceptable that Republicans are saying that there's nothing that we can do. Our schools, our churches. Our places of worships have now become deadly places for many Americans who have lost their lives just this just this past year,” she said.

The White House press secretary asked what Republicans have to say to the families who lost children in Nashville or the families of the school staff members whose lives were taken this week, or to other mass shooting victims and their families.

“Is that what they're gonna say to them, that there's nothing else that we can do? You're gonna say that to the Uvalde families, the parents, there's nothing else that we can do? You're gonna say that to the people in Buffalo in that grocery store ... that there's nothing that ... we're going to do?”

“Republicans in Congress need to show some courage, and if they had courage, they would be introducing legislation on ... banning assault weapons today. That's what they would be doing today,” she said.

Ms Jean-Pierre pointed out that the 1994 assault weapons ban that Mr Biden supported as a senator “saved lives” during the decade that it was in force.

“We know that to be a fact, but yet they refuse they refuse to move forward. And yet, guns as we know is the leading cause that killing our kids, and they refuse to show some courage and do anything about it. And that's shameful,” she said.

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