Biden orders flags to half-staff as country mourns another mass shooting: 'We must act'

By Kate Sullivan, Betsy Klein and Manu Raju, NCS

(NCS) — President Joe Biden ordered flags to be lowered to half-staff on Friday within the wake of the mass shooting at an Indianapolis FedEx facility that killed at the very least eight folks, calling gun violence an “epidemic” the country must handle now.

It’s solely been two weeks because the final time Biden made such an order after a earlier mass capturing, and the President famous that that incident happened on the 14th anniversary of the homicide of 32 folks at Virginia Tech University. Biden mentioned gun violence “pierces the very soul of our nation” and urged Congress to act.

“Last night and into the morning in Indianapolis, yet again families had to wait to hear word about the fate of their loved ones. What a cruel wait and fate that has become too normal and happens every day somewhere in our nation,” Biden mentioned in an announcement. “Gun violence is an epidemic in America. But we should not accept it. We must act.”

The capturing is the most recent in a sequence of a number of high-profile mass shootings which have rocked the nation, together with one at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, that killed 10 folks and a capturing rampage within the Atlanta, Georgia, area that killed eight people. The incident in Indianapolis is at least the 45th mass shooting in the US within the final month following the Atlanta-area killings. The spate of mass shootings has led to elevated requires gun management measures, however the prospect for any payments in Congress is grim.

White House chief of workers Ron Klain has been in communication with Indianapolis’ mayor, and Biden’s homeland safety adviser, Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, can be in contact with regulation enforcement officers, Psaki mentioned.

Vice President Kamala Harris spoke concerning the incident whereas assembly with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Friday morning, saying she was pondering of the households that misplaced their family members within the capturing and mentioned: “There is no question that this violence must end.”

“Yet again, we have families in our country that are grieving the loss of their family members because of gun violence,” Harris mentioned on the White House.

Five folks have been taken to native hospitals for therapy following the capturing. Police say they consider the shooter took his personal life, and the FBI is aiding Indianapolis police with their investigation.

The capturing in Indianapolis is the most recent in a latest spate of mass shootings throughout the country and comes a bit greater than per week after Biden unveiled several actions his administration could be taking to curb the extent of gun violence within the US.

“Gun violence in this country is an epidemic and it’s an international embarrassment,” Biden mentioned final week on the White House.

Biden’s lately unveiled government actions embrace efforts to limit weapons identified as “ghost guns” that may be constructed utilizing components and directions bought on-line. The actions are restricted in scope and Biden mentioned they’re preliminary steps to handle gun violence.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki echoed the President’s name for the Senate to go three payments strengthening background checks which have already handed the House of Representatives and to go a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

“Like all of you, we’re horrified by the shooting overnight at a FedEx facility,” Psaki informed reporters at a White House briefing on Friday.

Psaki mentioned: “The President has spent his entire career working to address gun violence and his determination to act has been redoubled by senseless killings we’ve seen both in mass shootings like this and in the lives lost to the epidemic of gun violence every single day in communities across our country.”

Biden made case for gutting legal responsibility protections for gun makers in non-public assembly

Passing gun reform laws by means of Congress stays an uphill climb for Democrats within the face of stiff Republican opposition and it’s unclear what a bipartisan means ahead on the problem may appear like.

Biden made an intensive case for Congress to intestine the legal responsibility protections for gun makers throughout a personal assembly with Democratic lawmakers earlier this week, reiterating his public place as discussions are starting within the House to go laws on the matter, in accordance to a number of attendees.

Speaking with Democratic members of the Congressional Black Caucus, Biden talked at size about concentrating on the lawsuit protections gun producers take pleasure in beneath federal regulation — although getting such laws by means of the 50-50 Senate stays extremely unlikely.

“He is committed to removing it — and to make sure they are held accountable,” mentioned Rep. Steven Horsford, a Nevada Democrat who was on the assembly and who misplaced his personal father to gun violence on the age of 19. Horsford informed NCS that Biden talked about fingerprint expertise that may very well be utilized by gun producers to make firearm use simpler to hint, as nicely as eliminating the lawsuit protections once-and-for-all.

Democratic Rep. Sean Casten is engaged on laws on the legal responsibility difficulty, and Horsford mentioned that Democrats will push their management to schedule a vote on the matter.

“He said it was important that those protections– those liability protections be removed from gun manufacturers — with that, there would be some accountability and from that, we would see some reform from a free market standpoint,” mentioned Georgia Rep. Hank Johnson, who was within the assembly, mentioned of Biden.

Stalled within the Senate

Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, two Connecticut Democrats, have been calling Republicans to see if there may very well be any help for gun laws that might attain the required 60 vote within the Senate to go, NCS has reported.

Democrats at the moment have 50 senators within the chamber, which suggests they want each Democrat on board after which 10 Republicans so as to attain the required 60 vote threshold to go the laws.

Blumenthal and Murphy acknowledge they’ll have to pare again a House-passed invoice that might mandate background checks on firearm gross sales on industrial and personal transactions as they face opposition from Republican senators and skepticism from average Democrats on the problem.

Murphy tweeted Friday morning: “When Congress does absolutely nothing, shooting after shooting, we become complicit in this slaughter. Our silence has been interpreted as endorsement.” He added, “Now is the moment for Democrats and Republicans to come together and pass a bill that will save lives.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer additionally known as for motion within the wake of the capturing, writing on Twitter that “my heart goes out to the families of the 8 people who were killed and to the survivors.”

“The Senate will act to address this epidemic in America,” he mentioned, reiterating that he’ll convey laws to forestall gun violence to the Senate ground for a vote. Schumer is planning to convey the House-passed payments to increase background checks to the ground, however each lack 60 votes and likewise face resistance from Democratic average senators.

This story has been up to date with further reporting.

The-NCS-Wire™ & © 2018 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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