US VP calls for assault weapons ban
US Vice President Kamala Harris has launched an impassioned plea for a ban on assault weapons following two deadly mass shootings in the US.
Harris was attending the funeral of Ruth Whitfield, 86, who was killed in a Buffalo supermarket on May 14.
The shooting came just 10 days before an attack on a Texas elementary school left 19 children and two teachers dead.
Harris, listing these and other attacks, said it was time to say “enough” to gun violence.
“Everyone needs to stand up and agree that this shouldn’t be happening in our country and that we should have the courage to do something about it,” she told worshipers at the funeral.
She added that the solution was clear – and included things like background checks and a ban on assault weapons.
“Do you know what an assault weapon is? she asked, continuing: “It was designed for a specific purpose: to quickly kill a large number of human beings. An assault weapon is a weapon of war, which has no place, no purpose. place in a civil society.
The 18-year-old shooter in Tuesday’s shooting in Uvalde had two AR-15 type semi-automatic rifles, at least one of which he allegedly purchased shortly after his birthday.
After he was shot, police found up to 1,657 rounds and 60 magazines in his possession.
The Buffalo, New York, shooter, also 18, had contact with authorities before, but there were no red flags when he legally purchased his own AR-15 type weapon.
“Why should someone be able to buy a gun that can kill other human beings without at least knowing, ‘Hey, has this person ever committed a violent crime before? Are they a threat to themselves or others?Saturday.
However, attempts to introduce universal background checks and ban assault weapons have run into obstacles. The issue is divisive in the United States, with nearly all Democrats backing tighter controls, compared to just 24% of Republicans.
On Friday, former Republican President Donald Trump called not for stricter gun control, but for better protected schools.
Speaking at an NRA meeting, he said decent Americans should be allowed to use guns to defend themselves against “evil”.
On the same day, it emerged that police failed to enter the classroom in Uvalde, Texas because of the active shooter inside.
Instead – as the children called emergency services for help – they waited 40 minutes, a decision police have now admitted was “wrong”.
US President Joe Biden is expected to make his own call for tougher gun controls during a visit to Uvalde on Sunday. On Saturday, he urged Americans to “raise their voices” against gun violence.