Biden cites “society blame” for guns

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Wednesday said the United States “should have a sense of social guilt” for slow action on limiting access to firearms on the 10th anniversary of the mass shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Twenty students and six educators died in the Newtown, Connecticut, school massacre that shocked the nation. Biden was using the anniversary to renew his call to ban assault-style weapons like the one used in the Sandy Hook shooting, as well as high-capacity magazines.

“We should have some social guilt for taking too long to address this issue,” Biden said in a statement. “We have a moral obligation to pass and enforce laws that can prevent these things from happening again. We owe it to the brave, young survivors and families who lost part of their soul a decade ago to turn their pain into purpose.”

Biden was vice president at the time of the shooting and was chosen by then-President Barack Obama to lead an ill-fated attempt to tighten gun laws. He said he and his wife, first lady Jill Biden, were praying for the victims and their families.

It was only after the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, that Congress this summer passed the most substantial gun reforms in decades, targeting so-called “ghost guns” that have no numbers serious, yet Biden’s calls for more aggressive action, including a ban on assault-style weapons, have met stiff opposition in Congress.

“Enough is enough,” Biden said. “Our obligation is clear. We must eliminate these weapons that have no other purpose than to kill people in large numbers. It is within our power to do so, not only for the sake of the lives of the innocents lost, but also for the survivors who still hope.”

There were no official remembrances Wednesday in Newtown, in keeping with the city’s tradition of quiet reflection. Several churches held memorial services.

On Wednesday, there was a twist in town for the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary, named after a 6-year-old animal lover who died in the shooting.

“Catherine’s legacy lives on in sanctuary, a place where all creatures know safety and kindness,” Catherine’s mother, Jenny Hubbard, said in a statement.

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, a Democrat, said in a video message posted on social media, “Newtown, you are always in our hearts.”

The state passed new gun controls after the massacre, including bans on some semi-automatic rifles and large-capacity magazines.

“What would be even more tragic — if we didn’t learn and do everything we can to make sure a tragedy like this is less likely to happen again,” Lamont said.

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