President Biden pleads for Congress to act on gun control
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The events on Saturday night and the early hours of Sunday morning are the latest acts of gun violence renewing the call to reform gun laws in the United States following a flood of violence over the past three weeks. On Thursday, President Biden gave a speech at the White House to address the need for gun control in the US and said: “There are too many … schools, too many other everyday places that have become killing fields, battlefields, here in America.”
Just before midnight on Saturday, multiple attackers opened fire on South Street in Philadelphia, an area popular for its bustling nightlife with copious bars and restaurants.
Officials declared that two men and a woman were killed, with two of the dead and the majority if not all of the wounded being innocent bystanders in the attack.
The victims were aged 22, 27 and 34 while the wounded were aged between 17 to 69.
CCTV showed the crowded street turning to panic with people scattering and running away as shots were thought to be fired.
Philadelphia police reported that there were at least three different shootings in South Street on Saturday which involved at least five attackers.
Mayor of Philadelphia Jim Kenney called the shooting “horrendous, despicable and senseless”.
Merely hours later on Sunday morning in Chattanooga, Tennessee just after midnight shooting broke out on those enjoying a night out.
Chattanooga Police Chief Celeste Murphy revealed that there were also multiple shooters in the Tennessee shooting.
Three people died and 14 others were wounded with two of the deceased dying from gunshot wounds and the third from being hit by a vehicle while fleeing the scene.
A number of the injured remain in a critical condition and multiple people were hit by vehicles as they attempted to run to safety.
Last month saw the Buffalo shooting which killed 10 people in a racially motivated attack, followed by a shooting at a church in Laguna Woods, California leaving one dead, and many injured which was ruled a ‘hate crime’.
By the end of May the Uvalde school shooting in Texas saw 19 students and two teachers killed by an 18-year-old who was able to purchase AR-style rifles to carry out the attack, and on the first day of June four people were killed in a shooting in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
According to data from the Gun Violence Archive (GVA), a non-profit research group there have been at least 240 mass shootings in the United States so far in 2022.
According to the GVA, which defines a mass shooting as an incident where four or more people were shot or killed, excluding the shooter, 706 children aged between 0 – 17 have been killed in 2022 in mass shootings.
The data shows that 1764 children have been injured in these events so far this year.
In his White House address, President Biden called for Congress to tighten gun laws once again after a fierce divide with pro-gun activists, politicians and voters who avidly stand by the Second Amendment.
The President said: “This is not about taking away anyone’s guns.
“It’s not about vilifying gun owners. In fact, we believe we should be treating responsible gun owners as an example of how every gun owner should behave.
“I respect the culture and the tradition and the concerns of lawful gun owners.”
He added: “At the same time, the Second Amendment, like all other rights, is not absolute.”
Gun Violence Archive data shows that the total number of gun violence deaths stands at 18,607 which is from all causes included in the statistics: homicide, suicide, mass shootings, defensive use, unintentional shooting.
The seven-year review from data on gun violence collated from 2014 to 2020 shows a clear increase in mass shootings from 269 to 611.
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Unintentional shootings, the number of children and teenagers killed by gun violence and injuries (including wilful, malicious, and accidental) have all risen since 2014.
President Biden insisted: “This isn’t about taking away anyone’s rights. It’s about protecting children. It’s about protecting families.
“It’s about protecting whole communities. It’s about protecting our freedoms to go to school, to a grocery store, to a church, without being shot and killed.”
The President’s speech followed data which was revealed by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention showing that guns are the number one killer of children in the United States.
The avid gun-reformer concluded: “Think about that. More kids than on-duty cops killed by guns. More kids than soldiers killed by guns.
“For God’s sake. How much more carnage are we willing to accept? How many more innocent American lives must be taken before we say enough? Enough.”
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