US President Joe Biden on Sunday (local time) called for tougher gun laws on the third anniversary of the Parkland shooting, wherein 17 people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
“Three years ago today, a lone gunman took the lives of 14 students and three educators at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. In seconds, the lives of dozens of families, and the life of an American community, were changed forever,” said Biden according to an official statement by The White House.
Highlighting that this incident was not lone but one among many, he said that “as we mourn with the Parkland community, we mourn for all who have lost loved ones to gun violence”.
“All across our nation, parents, spouses, children, siblings, and friends have known the pain of losing a loved one to gun violence. And in this season of so much loss, last year’s historic increase in homicides across America, including the gun violence disproportionately devastating Black and Brown individuals in our cities, has added to the number of empty seats at our kitchen tables,” he said.
The President also used the occasion to urge Congress to strengthen the gun laws, including requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and eliminating immunity for gun manufacturers “who knowingly put weapons of war on the streets”.
Emphasising the urgency for a strong gun law, the President said that his administration “will not wait for the next mass shooting to heed that call”.
“We owe it to all those we have lost and to all those left behind to grieve to make a change. The time to act is now,” he added.
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