Enough, enough. We should limit how many rounds a weapon can hold. Why in God’s name should an ordinary citizen be able to purchase an assault weapon that holds 30-round magazines that let mass shooters fire hundreds of bullets in a matter of minutes? The damage was so devastating in Uvalde parents had to do DNA swabs to identify the remains of their children. Nine- and 10-year-old children.
Enough. We should expand background checks to keep guns out of the hands of felons, fugitives and those under restraining orders. Stronger background checks are something that the vast majority of Americans, including the majority of gun owners, agree on.
I also believe we should have safe storage laws, and personal liability for not locking up your gun. The shooter in Sandy Hook came from a home full of guns. They were too easy to access. That’s how he got the weapons. The weapon he used to kill his mother, and then murder 26 people, including 20 first graders.
If you own a weapon, you have a responsibility to secure it. Every responsible gun owner agrees. To make sure no one else can have access to it. To lock it up. To have trigger locks. And if you don’t, and something bad happens, you should be held responsible.
We should also have national red flag laws so that a parent, a teacher, a counselor can flag for a court that a child, a student, a patient is exhibiting violent tendencies, threatening classmates or experiencing suicidal thoughts — it makes them a danger to themselves or to others. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have red flag laws. The Delaware law is named after my son, Attorney General Beau Biden.
Fort Hood, Texas, 2009. Thirteen dead and more than 30 injured. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., 2018. Seventeen dead, 17 injured. In both places, countless others suffering with invisible wounds. Red flag laws could have stopped both these shooters.
In Uvalde, the shooter was 17 when he asked his sister to buy him an assault weapon, knowing he’d be denied because he was too young to purchase one himself. She refused. But as soon as he turned 18, he purchased two assault weapons for himself. Because in Texas, you can be 18 years old and buy an assault weapon, even though you can’t buy a pistol in Texas until you’re 21.