Executive Authority on Gun Control Exhausted, Congress Must Act

President Joe Biden argued on Tuesday that Congress must enact gun control measures because “the full extent” of his executive authority has been used to quell mass shootings.

Speaking with reporters upon leaving the White House for Durham, North Carolina, Biden called on Congress to enact gun control measures in the wake of the Nashville Christian School shooting.

“I have done the full extent of my executive authority to do on my own — anything about guns,” Biden said. “Congress has to act.”

Biden Jokes About Ice Cream Before Addressing Nashville Christian School Shooting:

“I can’t do anything except plead with congress to act reasonably,” he continued, alleging owning a rifle is a “crazy” and “bizarre” idea.

“The majority of the American people think having assault weapons is bizarre, it’s a crazy idea,” he alleged.

On Monday afternoon, a suspect identified as Audrey Elizabeth Hale, 28, allegedly killed six people at a Nashville-area Christian school, the second transgender-identified woman who has attacked a school since 2019.

A 28-year-old transgender attacker (pictured) used legally purchased guns in shooting at Christian school. (Screenshot, Metropolitan Nashville Police Department via Storyful)

Biden was asked if he would visit Nashville to offer his sympathy for the massacre’s victims.

“I have spoken with everyone down there from the mayor to the senators to all the players,” Biden replied without offering plans to visit. “I spoke to the chief of police today. I have spoken to all of them.”

Biden’s statement comes after White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre suggested Republicans were responsible for Monday’s massacre at a Nashville-area Christian school by a transgender-identified woman.

“How many more children have to be murdered before Republicans in Congress will step up and act to pass the Assault Weapons Ban?” she asked Monday.

“What I will say to Republicans in Congress is, ‘What are you going to say to these parents?’” she questioned the following day. “What are you going to say to these parents.”

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) slammed her comments as a low blow. “It doesn’t get much lower than blaming Republicans in Congress for a transgender killer who targeted a Christian school,” he said.

The White House’s reaction contrasted with the response of some Republicans. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) demanded Tuesday that FBI Director Christopher Wray and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas initiate a “federal hate crime” probe into the massacre.

“Federal Law explicitly criminalizes violence against individuals based on religious affiliation as hate crimes,” Hawley wrote to Wray and Mayorkas. “According to Nashville law enforcement, Hale’s attack was both premeditated and ‘targeted’ against this Christian school, its students, and employees.”

Bodycam Showing Takedown of Shooter at Nashville Christian School:
Metropolitan Nashville Police Department

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.

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