US owes Sandy Hook families tougher gun laws, Biden says By Reuters

© Reuters. Flowers, pins and other items are placed on the permanent Sandy Hook memorial to mark the 10th anniversary of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, U.S., December 14, 2022. REUTERS/ Michelle McLoughlin

By Steve Holland and Jeff Mason

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday marked 10 years since the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Connecticut by saying Americans should bear “societal guilt” for failing to deal appropriately with the violence army in the decade that followed.

The school rampage on December 14, 2012 – when a heavily armed man killed 20 young children and six educators – shocked the country and was followed by an outbreak of mass shootings.

“We should have societal culpability for taking too long to address this issue. We have a moral obligation to pass and enforce laws that can prevent these things from happening again,” Biden said in a statement. .

“We owe it to the brave young survivors and families who lost a part of their soul 10 years ago to turn their pain into purpose,” he said.

The Democratic president renewed his vows to secure a new ban on assault weapons and pushed lawmakers to pass legislation before his party loses control of the U.S. House of Representatives next month.

The White House itself was lit up in green Wednesday night in honor of the victims of Sandy Hook, their families and their survivors. Green was the school color of Sandy Hook. The color was used in ribbons and other memorials in the early days after the massacre by many families who lost loved ones, a White House official said.

In his statement, Biden noted that in June he signed into law a bipartisan bill that includes provisions intended to help states keep guns out of the hands of those deemed a danger to themselves. or for others.

“Yet we must do more. I am determined to ban assault weapons and large capacity magazines like those used in Sandy Hook and countless other mass shootings in America,” he said.

“Enough is enough. Our obligation is clear. We must eliminate these weapons that have no other purpose than to kill people in large numbers,” Biden said. “It is within our power to do so – not just for the lives of the innocents lost, but for the survivors who still hope.”

Former Democratic President Barack Obama, who was in the White House when the Sandy Hook massacre took place, said in a statement that he considered it “the darkest day of my presidency”. But more recently, he said, “I felt that slowly, steadily, the tide is turning; that real change is possible. And I feel that in large part because of the families at Sandy Hook Elementary.”

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