Reaction to President Biden's executive actions to combat gun violence
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - President Joe Biden announced a set of executive actions and legislative proposals on gun control at the White House on Thursday.
Biden's new steps include a move to crack down on "ghost guns," homemade firearms that lack serial numbers used to trace them and are often purchased without a background check. He's also moving to tighten regulations on pistol-stabilizing braces like the one used in Boulder, Colorado, in a shooting last month that left 10 dead. The president called gun violence in the United States "an epidemic."
"Let me say it again, gun violence in this country is an epidemic," Biden said. "And it’s an international embarrassment."
The proposals come after a series of mass shootings that have drawn renewed attention to the issue. His announcement came the same day as yet two shooting episodes proved deadly -- one in South Carolina, where five people were killed and another at a Texas business where at least one person was killed and others injured.
The president maintained that "nothing" he is recommending "impinges" on the Second Amendment. Monica Rogers, a manager at Volusia Top Gun in Daytona Beach, believes there is only so much this kind of legislation can do.
"There are specific instructions. It’s not supposed to be shouldered. So the fact that people are going against guidance, that’s an individual issue," said Rogers, when speaking about legislation that would stop certain braces that make some guns more accurate.
Rogers added that "red flag" laws and background checks are already in place in Florida and believes the president’s proposals and actions are band-aids for a different problem.
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"My frustration is that’s a smaller side issue. It should be on fixing what’s wrong with the people, not the tool they’re using," said Rogers.
President Biden addressed the need for more community violence intervention, and with that, Rogers agrees.
"Ultimately, it’s the person committing the act, not the firearm."
FOX 35 also spoke with Pulse Nightclub shooting survivor-turned-advocate Brandon Wolf.
"It’s important to note how nervous I was to pick a suit color because I’ve never been to the White House before," said Wolf.
He jokes, but Wolf also reflected on meeting then-Vice President Biden after the Pulse shooting almost five years ago, tweeting that now they are taking a huge step together.
"I thought about all of the work that so many have done for decades to try to get something over the finish line. Today felt like a vindication."
Wolf was at the White House on Thursday as the president announced executive actions and legislative proposals on gun control.
"I see Brandon Wolf, who was at the shooting at the Pulse Nightclub. He survived but his two best friends died," said President Biden.
"The president naming you from the podium in the Rose Garden is sort of a surreal moment," Wolf told FOX 35 News.
He said he was invited to the Oval Office after the president’s speech. It’s what the president told lawmakers there that most impacted him.
"The president was pretty frank with them. He looked them in the eyes and he said the country is asking. 'What are you waiting for?' And for me, that matters. That tone matters…I made a promise to Joe Biden in front of that desk where so many important decisions are made and I said, ‘I will be right here when you sign legislation into law, when it finally passes both chambers of Congress,’ and he said ‘I’ll expect to see you then.’"