President Joe Biden addressed the group on the annual National Vigil for All Victims of Gun Violence, in Washington, D.C., asking God for the energy to “finish the work” on gun legislation reform within the United States.
The vigil, which marked its tenth anniversary, started in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School bloodbath in 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut, which killed 28 folks and injured two others. Biden is the primary president to attend the remembrance, in keeping with WUSA reporter Casey Nolen.
“We’ve seen you turn pain into purpose,” the president mentioned in his speech at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. “Together, we’ve made some important progress. The most significant gun law passed in 30 years, but still not enough.”
Biden went on to discuss “commonsense” insurance policies that Democrats have been working to cross in Congress, akin to banning assault rifles as former President Bill Clinton’s administration did in 1994.
“We did it with the help of the very people in here, led by [House] Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi … and many others,” Biden mentioned. “And we did and guess what? It worked … And you know, we can do it again.”
The president ended his speech with a second of silence to recollect victims of gun violence and a plea to supporters to maintain pushing for gun legislation reform.
“We ask God to give us the strength to finish the work left undone,” Biden mentioned. “On behalf of the lives we’ve lost and all the lives we can save.”
Pelosi took the stage to debate the Democratic-led House’s efforts, akin to re-banning assault rifles, requiring background checks, outlawing untraceable ghost weapons and banning the sale of high-capacity magazines.
“When we tell them we are sorry for their loss, we must act upon that,” Pelosi mentioned about comforting gun violence survivors. “Now, I see a shirt that says, ‘Just do it.’ And that’s good guidance.”
In July, the Senate handed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which was largely spurred by the Robb Elementary School bloodbath in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24. The invoice elevated funding for states to implement “red flag” legal guidelines, which permits courts to maintain weapons away from people thought of to be harmful. The invoice additionally elevated funding for psychological well being and college safety, and enhanced background checks for gun consumers underneath age 21.
But requires elevated gun management measures reignite with every mass capturing, together with after two in Virginia final month that killed 9 folks in complete. Five have been additionally killed by gunfire at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado, with 18 others injured.
One report previous to final month’s midterm elections discovered gun reform as a high precedence amongst voters, with the problem typically favoring Democrats over Republicans in gaining Americans’ belief. An August ballot from the Associated Press additionally discovered that just about half of Republicans assume gun legal guidelines needs to be stricter, whereas 71 p.c of voters nationwide agree.
Other Democrats who attended the vigil Wednesday included Connecticut Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut Representative Jahana Hayes and Florida Representative-elect Maxwell Frost.
Newsweek has reached out to the National Rifle Association for remark.
Updated 12/7/22, 9:24 p.m. ET: This story has been up to date with further data and background.