President Joe Biden once again called for a ban on assault weapons following a rash of deadly mass shootings left 11 people dead at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs and at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia.
While visiting a firehouse on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, on Thanksgiving, Biden said he would seek to pass gun control legislation before the new Congress is seated in January, suggesting that he may revive his attempt to ban assault weapons.
The President was visiting the fire station to thank first responders for their heroic service to the nation.
“The idea that we still allow semi-automatic weapons to be purchased is sick,” he said while greeting firefighters in Nantucket, Massachusetts, where he and his family are spending the Thanksgiving holiday. “It has no, no social redeeming value. Zero. None. Not a single solitary rationale for it except profit for the gun manufacturers.”
Congress has failed to outlaw AR-15s and other assault-style guns.
The Democratic-controlled House passed a ban in July, in a vote largely along party lines, but the bill stands little chance of advancing in the Senate, where 10 Republicans would need to join a unified Democratic caucus to break a filibuster.
“I’m going to try,” Biden said after he was asked if he might press for a ban in the congressional lame-duck session. “I’m going to do it whenever… I got to make that assessment as I get in and start counting the votes.”
Mass shootings have been taking place with increasing frequency according to a tally from the Gun Violence Archive, a nonpartisan group that attempts to track every incident of gun violence in the country.
The group defines a mass shooting as any incident in which four or more people, including the assailant, are injured by gunfire.