On June 2, 2022, President Biden confronted the people of the United States in a public address, reflecting on the recent tragedies involving gun violence across the nation. The President focused his attention on voicing his view on the matter, urging the implementation of potential solutions to the problem at hand. These solutions include the banning of assault weapons, the increasing the minimum age requirement of purchasing such weapons, the enacting of safe storage and red flag laws, and the need of emphasizing the importance of addressing the mental health crisis in the United States. In his speech, Biden called on the people to assist him in transforming these plans into a reality, advising, “My fellow Americans, enough, enough. It’s time for each of us to do our part. It’s time to act.”
Though President Biden may have the support of the Democrats, he still lacks measurable support from the opposing party. Slightly before the President’s address, in a House hearing, Republican Representatives displayed resistance to the proposed “Protecting Our Kids Act”, a package which consists of many, but not all, of the potential solutions presented by the President. During the hearing, Jim Jordan, a Republican Representative from Ohio, accused the Democrats of rushing to pass the package, arguing that such legislation would have an insignificant impact and that the efforts of the Democrats are “not a real attempt, in my judgment, to find solutions.” While Democrats continue to attempt to convince the Republicans of the crucial nature of the package, Republicans refuse to take action, believing such rulings would contradict the right to bear arms, a right defined in the Second Amendment. Furthermore, rather than applying restrictions to gun use, Republicans are advocating for the “Safe Students Act”, which directs increased attention towards mental health and the security of educational institutions.
By the end of the hearing, the “Protecting Our Kids Act” was passed by the House Judiciary Committee. Now, as early as next week, the complete House of Representatives is expected to vote on the package. Analysts predict that the package has the support to pass the upcoming vote due to the House consisting of majority Democratic Representatives. However, if the package were to reach the Senate, due to its nearly equal divide, the potential of its passing is slim. Nonetheless, a group of bipartisan Senators have begun negotiations in regards to this legislation, possibly allowing for Democrats and Republicans to find a middle ground.