U.S. President Joe Biden has announced a crackdown on guns to address gun violence in the country, which he described as “an epidemic” and an “international embarrassment”. The fact that “so many people die every day as a result of gun violence in America is a stain” on our nation, the Democrat said during a speech at the White House. “We are absolutely determined to enact change,” the president stressed as he addressed the families of the shooting victims.
Specifically, Biden announced new executive orders aimed at equalizing rules for so-called ‘ghost guns,’ homemade firearms that often lack the serial numbers used to trace them, with those for firearms. A second proposed measure involves strengthening regulations on handgun stabilizers, such as the one that was used in the recent shooting in Colorado where 10 people lost their lives.
The president also issued a call to ban assault weapons. “Enough prayers, it’s time to act,” Biden warned, stressing that the measures will not interfere with the Second Amendment of the Constitution, which gives citizens the right to own guns, and also pointed out that gun violence costs the country $280 billion a year in psychological and physical care for those who have suffered trauma.
The president’s speech came just hours after another shooting in the country. A gunman, who was later identified as former football player Phillip Adams, opened fire, killing five people, including a well-known doctor and his grandchildren, in Rock Hill, South Carolina. The National Football League athlete then took his own life with a .45-caliber weapon.
The victims, identified as Dr. Robert Lesslie, 70, and his wife, Barbara Lesslie, 69, were pronounced dead at the scene along with grandchildren Adah Lesslie, 9, and Noah Lesslie, 5. A 38-year-old man, James Lewis, who had worked in the home, was found dead outside the home, and a sixth person was hospitalized with “serious gunshot wounds.” Initially, the York County Sheriff’s Office reported that the suspect had been tracked to a home near the one where the shooting occurred. News later broke that the shooter was Adams, whose parents live near the doctor. According to a source told the U.S. Associated Press news agency, Dr. Lesslie had treated the man in the past.
Adams, 33, played 78 NFL games in five seasons for six teams. He joined the 49ers in 2010 and suffered a serious ankle injury at the end of the season that required surgery. He never played for the 49ers again, leaving just before the start of the 2011 season. He later had two concussions in three games with the Raiders in 2012. Adams’ father blamed soccer for his son’s problems, which he said led him to commit the vicious violence. “I can say he’s a good kid, he was a good kid,” he said, speaking to a Charlotte television station. The one in South Carolina is the latest in a series of massacres that has hit the US. The country was recently shocked by a shooting in a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado, where a 21-year-old opened fire, killing 10 people. And a few days earlier, another 21-year-old killed eight people at three massage parlors in Atlanta. “This is a public health crisis,” President Biden said, “action must be taken.”