Saturday, Dec. 02, 2023|
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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said Monday that the “Second Amendment was never absolute” and that, after the Texas elementary school shooting, there may be some bipartisan support to tighten restrictions on the kind of high-powered weapons used by the gunman.
“I think things have gotten so bad that everybody’s getting more rational, at least that’s my hope,” Biden told reporters before honoring the nation’s fallen in Memorial Day remarks at Arlington National Cemetery.
His comments came a day after he traveled to the shattered Texas community of Uvalde, mourning privately for three-plus hours with anguished families grieving for the 19 children and two teachers who died in the shooting. Faced with chants of “do something” as he departed a church service, Biden pledged: “We will.”
After the Uvalde trip, Biden spent Sunday night at his home in Delaware. As he arrived at the White House for Memorial Day events, he was asked if he’s now more motivated to see new federal limits imposed on firearms.
“I’ve been pretty motivated all along,” he said. “I’m going to continue to push and we’ll see how this goes.”
In Congress, a bipartisan group of senators talked over the weekend to see if they could reach even a modest compromise on gun legislation after a decade of mostly failed efforts. That included encouraging state “red flag” laws to keep guns away from those with mental health problems. An aide said the senators would meet virtually today.
“The Second Amendment was never absolute,” Biden said. “You couldn’t buy a cannon when the Second Amendment was passed. You couldn’t go out and buy a lot of weapons.”
Later, the president and first lady Jill Biden were joined by Vice President Kamala Harris, second gentleman Doug Emhoff, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at Arlington National Cemetery for a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Standing at attention under a cloudless sky in the late-May heat, Biden saluted as taps played, after laying the wreath of multi-colored flowers wrapped in red, white and blue ribbon in front of the tomb.
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