President Joe Biden proposed some policies on gun safety in national circulation, which also received support from Governor Jim Justice.
One of them was an increased age limit for semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21 years. Another was increased support for mental health services.
“After Columbine, after Sandy Hook, after Charleston, after Orlando, after Las Vegas, after Parkland, nothing has been done,” Biden said during a national prime-time address. “It simply came to our notice then. We really have to do something this time. ”
Biden called on Congress to act on a number of laws following a series of mass shootings, including at a Texas elementary school. One of his proposals was to renew the national ban on semi-automatic rifles, although he acknowledged that there was unlikely to be a political consensus on such broad restrictions.
“We need to ban ‘offensive weapons’ and high-capacity magazines. And if we can’t ban weapons of attack, then we need to increase the age of purchase from 18 to 21. Strengthen past checks. Get safe storage laws and red flag laws. Abolish the immunity that protects gun manufacturers from liability. Deal with the mental health crisis that is exacerbating trauma and gun violence and the consequences of this violence.
“These are rational, sound, reasonable measures,” said Biden, a Democrat.
His remarks were addressed not only to the American public, but also to Congress, where members of the equally divided US Senate discussed what weapons security measures could have enough support to pass.
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrissey, a Republican, wrote on social media after Biden’s speech that he would fight gun restrictions in the federal judiciary.
“As Attorney General of West Virginia, I will not allow the federal government and Biden’s gun control policies to act harshly over my state. I will oppose Biden’s radical policies, I will judge his administration, and West Virginia will win! ” wrote Maurice on Twitter.
The governor of justice said this week that he would not support the ban on semi-automatic weapons. “The reality of this whole thing is this, just taking aspirin for cancer won’t do anything. That won’t cure anything, “Justice said this week.
Much of the governor’s focus over the past week has been on the effects of social factors such as violent video games, social media and pornography on the isolation of young men.
But the Republican governor seemed open to policies that would raise the age limit for owning such weapons from 18 to 21. Justice repeated the point several times, although he did not say he would push for a change in public policy.
“Do I really feel that an 18-year-old should be able to come in and buy a weapon to attack?” I’m not doing it, “Justice said. “But from a 21-year-old’s point of view, that’s a different thing. For me, the age should be 21. ”
Justice also advocates increasing mental health resources. “Absolutely, in my opinion, we need to strengthen mental health programs because there are so many problems across the country, it’s off schedule,” the governor said.
He later said: “We know for a fact that mental health problems are widespread today. Why aren’t we doing something about it? “
Biden’s remarks were in line with the governor’s remarks.
“Even before the pandemic, young people were already sick. There is a serious crisis in the mental health of young people in this country. We need to do something about it. That is why mental health is at the heart of my unity program, which I set out in this year’s State of the Union address, “he said.
“We need to provide more school counselors; more school nurses; more mental health services for students and teachers. More people volunteering as mentors to help young people succeed. More protection of privacy and resources to protect children from the harms of social media. “
The national debate on gun safety has resumed after a series of mass shootings, most recently the killing of nineteen elementary school students and two Texas teachers.
A gunman in Uwalde, Texas, bought a semi-automatic rifle from a local sporting goods store the day after he turned 18, authorities said. He returned days later to buy 375 rounds and then an AR-style rifle.
The mass shooting in Texas was just over a week later, killing 10 people at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York. The shooter there, also 18, uses a Bushmaster XM-15 purchased from a gun shop. The inspection was apparently clean, although the shooter was ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation almost a year ago.
Across the country, discussions include additional support for mental health services, support to ensure that school entrances are restricted, red flag laws allowing for the temporary seizure of weapons from people who pose a danger to themselves or others, increasing the legal age for arms purchases, banning high-capacity magazines or extended past checks.
The senators participated in bipartisan negotiations to determine the possibility of a common language.
Senator Joe Manchin, DW.Va., has publicly expressed support for a number of policy changes, including raising the age limit for owning semi-automatic rifles, red flag laws to temporarily remove weapons from people considered a threat to themselves or others. , and the type of advanced background checks it previously supported.
“Yes, we are looking at everything,” Manchin said on radio across the country. “Two things we know that could stop him for sure are raising the age – an 18-year-old couldn’t buy that. The second is the Red Flag Act, which we know works in states like Florida.