From Sandy Hook to Buffalo: Ten years of failure on gun control

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Gabrielle Giffords huddled with Vice President Joe Biden in his private office just off the Senate floor on an April Wednesday in 2013, watching the stunning defeat of a bill to expand background checks to most gun sales.


Giffords — a former Democratic lawmaker who still had difficulty speaking after being shot in the head in 2011 during an event in her Arizona district — was equal parts furious and devastated as she watched 46 of her former colleagues, including five Democratic senators, vote against the gun-control measure informally known as Manchin-Toomey.


The gun bill had emerged in the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., just four months prior — a massacre that left 20 children and six adults dead. Now it was clear that not even 20 slaughtered first-graders would move the nation to change its gun laws.

Biden empathized with Giffords, telling her he understood how painful it was to see the defeat of the background check measure negotiated by Sens. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) and Patrick J. Toomey (R-Pa.), said Peter Ambler, who had joined Giffords’s congressional staff just five days before she was shot and now is the executive director of Giffords, a group devoted to fighting gun violence.


But Biden also offered an encouraging note, telling Giffords the failed vote would infuriate the American people and spur them to take action to prevent gun violence: “This is actually going to help you build a movement,” Ambler recalled Biden saying.


Biden’s optimism was misplaced. Since Sandy Hook, the nation has experienced more than 3,500 mass shootings, according to the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit organization that tracks gun violence and defines a mass shooting as an incident in which four or more people are killed or injured. Continue Reading

Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/05/22/guns-biden-democrats-buffalo/

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