Biden cites “societal guilt” on guns

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden said Wednesday that the U.S. “should be socially to blame” for the slow pace of measures to limit access to firearms as he marked the 10th anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting. marked.

Twenty students and six teachers died in the Newtown, Connecticut, school massacre that shocked the nation. Biden used the birthday to reiterate his call for a ban on assault weapons such as those used in the Sandy Hook shooting, as well as high-capacity magazines.

“We should have a sense of societal guilt for taking too long to address this issue,” Biden said in a statement. “We have a moral obligation to enact and enforce laws that can prevent these things from happening again. We owe it to the brave young survivors and to the families who lost a part of their soul a decade ago to turn their pain into purpose.”

Biden was vice president at the time of the shooting and was tapped by then-President Barack Obama to lead an ill-fated effort to tighten gun laws. He said he and his wife, first lady Jill Biden, were praying for the victims and their families.

Only after the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, did Congress this summer pass the most substantial gun reform in decades, targeting so-called “ghost guns” that don’t have serial numbers, yet Biden is calling for more aggressive action, including banning assault weapons met fierce opposition in Congress.

“Enough is enough,” Biden said. “Our obligation is clear. We must eliminate these weapons that have no purpose other than to kill people in large numbers. It is within our power to do so – not only for the sake of the lives of the lost innocents, but also of the survivors who still have hope.”

There were no official commemorations in Newtown on Wednesday, in keeping with the city’s tradition of quiet reflection. Several churches scheduled memorial services.

On Wednesday, a groundbreaking ceremony took place in the city for the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary, named after a 6-year-old animal lover who died in the shooting.

“Catherine’s legacy lives on in the Sanctuary, a place where all beings know safety and kindness,” Catherine’s mother, Jenny Hubbard, said in a statement.

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, a Democrat, said in a video message posted on social media, “Newtown, you are always in our hearts.”

The state passed new gun controls after the massacre, including a ban on certain semi-automatic rifles and large-capacity magazines.

“What would be even more tragic — if we didn’t learn and do everything we can to make sure a tragedy like this never happens again,” Lamont said.

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