Support Needed for Biden’s Ban on Assault Weapons


After the shooting in Boulder, Colo., President Biden called for a ban on assault weapons. (Courtesy of Twitter)

On March 22, a mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado killed 10 people, and among victims was a local police officer. The gun used in this horrific incident was an AR-556, a semiautomatic pistol. However, to call this weapon a pistol is a terrible understatement because it is not just a mere pistol but a military-grade machine gun. 

After this incident, President Biden called for a ban on assault weapons, claiming it is a “commonsense [step] to save lives,” and he is completely right. There is no reason any person should be allowed to carry an assault weapon. There is no logical argument for it, only a multitude of logical arguments against it.

This Colorado mass shooting was the seventh mass shooting in the United States in the past seven days. In 2021, there have been 103 mass shootings in the United States. We are only four months into the year. 

In contrast, in all of 2020, there were only four mass shootings total in the entirety of Europe. It is evident that the problem of mass shootings is unique to the U.S.  

Two bills passed the House in March, eradicating loopholes in the background-checking system of purchasing firearms. President Biden encouraged the Senate to have urgency in passing both. One of these bills would “expand background checks on individuals seeking to purchase or transfer firearms,” while the other would end the “Charleston loophole,” which is “a gap in federal law that lets gun sales proceed without a completed background check if three business days have passed.” 

The fact that these actions had previously been legal, or even seen as normal, is unacceptable. This is the reality we have lived in for decades, and one of, if not the main reason, why the United States has had over 100 mass shootings in just four months.

Biden added that, on top of these bills, the U.S. should ban assault weapons. The President said that this is not a partisan issue, rather an American issue. If you support saving American lives, this bill and banning assault weapons should be no debate. It should be a unanimous decision to act fast in order to protect the people of this nation.  

Biden’s strong response to this mass shooting and the six prior mass shootings that occured in the same week is necessary. He said it best: this is an American issue. No other nation around the world has the same issue as the U.S. regarding mass shootings. Biden is wasting no time attempting to solve the issue just as other countries have: by banning assault weapons and having extensive background checks as a requirement for purchasing a firearm.  

Back in 1994, Biden passed a law as a senator of Delaware that banned the production of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines for regular civilian use. However, the law “phased out in 2004” under a “10-year sunset provision.” This law should have never phased out, and it should be put back into place immediately if Americans want the mass shooting epidemic to come to an end.

The shooting in Boulder must be the last straw in this crisis, and it should encourage leaders to enact laws to curb gun violence in the United States. Banning assault weapons and requiring extensive background checks shouldn’t be controversial when necessary for Americans’ safety. 

We must look to other countries to see what to do in order to stop gun violence. While it is concerning that this issue has taken so long to face, it is never too late to put an end to mass shootings in the United States.

Cory Bork, FCRH ’23, is a communications and culture major from Robbinsville, N.J.