President Biden Not Another ‘Thoughts And Prayers’ Politician

President Biden feels the mood and sadness of the nation today. And he is proving that much more needs to be said and done following the second mass shooting in a week than just offering ‘thoughts and prayers’. Biden asked for flags to be lowered following the carnage in Colorado. Our flag was still lowered from the Atlanta shootings. The soft rain and gray clouds on the Madison isthmus reflect the national mood as the flag hangs somberly.

But then our president declared what this nation must do to help stop the mass shootings.

We know the tragic chronology.

Boulder, Colorado is a truly beautiful city. I visited there many years ago on a westward trek. But sadly, they, along with every other major urban area have faced the growing dangers of gun violence. So, they decided to act locally and in 2018 banned assault weapons as a means to address and prevent mass shootings. But just over a week after that ban was blocked in court ten people, which as we know also included a police officer, were killed at a supermarket in a mass shooting.

The suspect in the Boulder supermarket shootings bought the assault rifle he used six days earlier!

The unanimous support from the council for gun control efforts underscored the maturity of their thinking and the resolve of their mission. The law simply banned the possession, transfer, and sale of most shotguns and certain pistols and semiautomatic rifles with pistol grips, a thumbhole stock, or any protruding grip that allows a weapon to be stabilized with the non-trigger hand. The data from killings and the weapons used in the gun violence underscore why the measure was drafted and found such widespread support.

When one reviews the data about mass shootings it becomes clear most of the guns were purchased legally. As such, there needs to be a front-end response to the ability to acquire weapons that all too often are designed for wars and battlefields. Not for urban environments or small-knit communities. If those with mental health problems do not have access to purchase weapons of war they will not be able to use them when their illness kicks into overdrive. That is the point. STOP THE SALES!

Boulder had used the ban as a way to prevent mass gun killings like that which took place in Parkland, Florida when seventeen young people were slaughtered. But the money and energy of the NRA had more sway than the logical and reasoned voices in the city. Common-sense local control lost.

What Boulder has talked about and fought over is just a glimpse of what the national public debate will feel like as we now have a president who will fight for new and meaningful gun control measures. Biden is showing his mettle and determination to not be just another ‘thoughts and prayers’ politician.

Today Biden called for an assault weapons ban and in so doing went even further than the two bills the House passed recently. In his remarks Biden made it clear he was willing to use his political capital for the greater good of the nation.

“I don’t need to wait another minute, let alone an hour, to take common-sense steps that will save the lives in the future, and to urge my colleagues in the House and Senate to act. We can ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in this country once again. I got that done when I was a senator. It passed, it was the law for the longest time. And it brought down these mass killings. We should do it again.”

I have always argued for strong and principled leadership by elected officials regarding gun control measures that are needed for the safety of the citizenry. We can, and must stop the gun violence in America just like every other civilized part of the world has proven can be done.

It starts with leadership from the White House.