President Joe Biden on Tuesday accused Republicans in MAGA of wanting to defund the police and “abolish the FBI” as he advocates for tougher gun laws.
Speaking in Monterey Park, California, the president tried to console a grieving community still reeling from a mass shooting during Lunar New Year festivities in January. The shooter shot 20 people and killed 11 with a semi-automatic weapon before committing suicide.
Biden described January 21 as “a day of celebration and light turned into fear and darkness.”
“I’m here to cry with you, to pray with you, to let you know that you are loved and not alone,” Biden told the crowd.
President Joe Biden salutes Brandon Tsay (left), the hero of the Monterey Park shooting
His audience of families affected by the shooting and community leaders listened in silence as he told them he understood how “shattered” their “sense of safety” was.
The silence turned to applause when Biden spoke about Bradon Tsay, who helped stop the shooter, and when he hailed the film’s multiple Oscar wins, Everything Everywhere All At Once.
Tsay greeted the president at Los Angeles International Airport and was also in the auditorium for his remarks.
In his speech, the president made an emotional call for tougher gun laws by signing an executive order to increase the number of background checks.
“Last week I indicated in my budget that we are investing more in safer communities and investing in mental health services for those affected by gun violence. Congressional Republicans should pass my budget instead of calling for cuts to these services or abolishing the police or defunding the FBI,’ he said.
Biden reiterated his call for Congress to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazine weapons, which is unlikely to happen with Republicans in control of the House.
“Ban assault weapons. Ban them again. Do it now. Enough. Do something. Do something big,” the president said, his voice growing louder as he spoke.
By acting by executive order, Biden can circumvent Capitol Hill.
His order will increase the number of background checks to buy guns, promote better and safer gun storage, and ensure U.S. law enforcement gets the most out of bipartisan law enforcement. firearms enacted last summer.
“It directs the attorney general to get as close as possible to universal background checks without additional legislation,” a senior administration official said of the order.
“There are few policy ideas more popular among the American people than universal background checks, but Congress is not acting.”
A woman in the crowd at Biden’s Monterey Park speech wipes away a tear
Biden called on Congress to take action against gun violence. “Ban assault weapons. Ban them again. Do it now. Enough. Do something. Do something big, he said
Brandon Tsay, who disarmed the shooter (right) greeted President Biden at the airport upon his arrival in Los Angeles
Biden’s rhetoric on gun laws has grown stronger during his presidency as gun violence continues to rise in the wake of the COVID pandemic.
His budget proposal includes funds for hiring 100,000 more police officers on the streets, as well as funds for crime prevention strategies and community violence intervention.
Republicans first used the cry “defund police” against Democrats. But Democrats are trying to turn the tide, using GOP opposition to $1.9 billion to bolster Capitol security and fund police following the Jan. 6 riots to argue Republicans want to pull funding. of the font.
Additionally, after FBI agents raided Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home with a search warrant, some Republicans called for the agency to be disbanded.
And the president could use guns as a stake in his re-election campaign. He did not officially announce a second presidential bid, but said he intended to run again.
January shooting in Monterey Park left 11 dead and nine injured
The 11 victims of the horrific Monterey Park mass shooting that occurred amid Lunar New Year celebrations are identified as follows: My Nhan, 65, Lilian Li, 63, Xiujuan Yu, 57, Muoi Ung, 67, Hong Jian, 62, Diana Tom, 70. , Yu Kao, 72 years old, Chia Yau, 76 years old, Valentino Alvero, 68 years old, Wen Yu, 64 years old and Ming Ma, 72 years old,
This isn’t the first time Biden has highlighted the Monterey Park shooting to argue for tougher gun laws.
First Lady Jill Biden invited Tsay to join her at Biden’s State of the Union address in February.
After the shooter attacked the Star Ballroom dance studio, the shooter, Huu Can Tran, 72, headed for the ballroom and the Lai Lai studio near the Alhambra.
Tsay, a 26-year-old computer programmer whose family owns the dance studio, confronted the shooter in the lobby, grabbed the gun and chased him away.
“He saved lives. It’s time we did the same,’ Biden said in his address to Congress. “Ban assault weapons once and for all.
Biden is also demanding better reporting of ballistics data from federal law enforcement for a clearinghouse that allows federal, state and local law enforcement to match casings to firearms. But local and state law enforcement aren’t required to report ballistics data, and many don’t, making the clearinghouse less effective.
The president asked the Federal Trade Commission to release a public report analyzing how gun makers sell to minors and use military imagery for marketing to the general public.
Congress passed legislation last year, known as the Safer Communities Act, that gun control advocates see as a good start, but doesn’t go far enough.
After the law was signed in June 2022, there were 11 more mass shootings.