(WASHINGTON) — President Joe Biden, faced with yet another mass shooting on his watch, said Friday that the news of at least eight Americans killed in Indianapolis on Thursday night has “become too normal.”
“Too many Americans are dying every single day from gun violence,” Biden said in a written statement. “It stains our character and pierces the very soul of our nation.”
Biden said that he had been briefed on the shooting at the FedEx facility in Indianapolis, and ordered the flags lowered to half-staff in honor of those who died “just two weeks after I gave the last such order.”
“Last night and into the morning in Indianapolis, yet again families had to wait to hear word about the fate of their loved ones,” Biden said. “What a cruel wait and fate that has become too normal and happens every day somewhere in our nation. Gun violence is an epidemic in America. But we should not accept it. We must act.”
Just last week, in the wake of mass shootings in Boulder and Atlanta, Biden announced actions to reduce gun violence including directing the Department of Justice to regulate the sale of ghost guns, but there are only limited actions a president can take without Congress passing legislation.
Biden, who has faced pressure to call more forcefully for gun control measures, said in his Friday statement that it’s up to Congress act next, including on some gun control legislation that has already been passed by the House.
“I also urged Congress to hear the call of the American people — including the vast majority of gun owners — to enact commonsense gun violence prevention legislation, like universal background checks and a ban of weapons of war and high-capacity magazines,” Biden said.
Biden was pressed on what he was going to do to tackle gun control in late March during his first formal press conference. Biden sidestepped the question, saying while he would pursue the issue, infrastructure was his next major policy goal.
“Successful presidents — better than me — have been successful, in large part, because they know how to time what they’re doing — order it, decide and prioritize what needs to be done,” Biden said.
Biden said that gun control was a “long-term problem.”
“And what we’re going to be able to do, God willing, is now begin, one at a time, to focus on those as well,” Biden said.
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