Pittsburgh activists react to President Joe Biden’s push for gun legislation

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh-area anti-violence groups are responding to President Joe Biden’s call for tougher gun control measures after recent mass shootings.

President Biden has said now is the time to act, and local activists agree.

“For God’s sake, how much more carnage are we willing to accept?” President Biden said while addressing the nation Thursday.

In a prime-time speech, the president said too many places in America have become killing fields. He pleaded with Congress to adopt what he called “rational, common-sense measures” to address gun violence.

“This time, we have to take the time to do something, it’s time for the Senate to do something,” the president said.

Tina Ford’s son Armani Ford was 23 when he was shot in Clairton in 2019. She then founded the group Mothers of Murdered Sons to help families cope.

“I was very impressed, no doubt. I listened to every word he said because it’s important to me because of my loss,” Ford said.

Biden has called for the reinstatement of the ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. If that can’t be done, he said the age to buy them should be raised to 21.

“Why in the name of God should an ordinary citizen be able to buy an assault weapon with 30-round magazines to allow mass shooters to fire hundreds of bullets in minutes?” Biden said.

He also wants to see strengthened background checks, safe storage laws, red flag laws and the repeal of immunity protecting gun manufacturers from liability.

“It’s too bad we have to escalate into such a serious massacre for people to start paying attention because here in Pittsburgh we go through this every day, not a massacre, but we lose a child every day,” he said. said Ford.

There have been many tragedies involving guns in Pittsburgh in recent years. A gunman killed 11 worshipers at the Tree of Life Synagogue in October 2018. Gunfire erupted at an Airbnb party on Easter Sunday, killing two teenagers and injuring 9 others. A one-year-old child was fatally shot in downtown Pittsburgh this week.

Ford said now is the time for everyone to come together, especially the Senate.

“Unless it happens to them, we’ll be back to where we are now,” Ford said.

The Executive Director of the South Pittsburgh Coalition for Peace, Reverend Eileen Smith, released a statement saying:

“The president’s moving and genuine remarks began and ended with ‘Do something.’ world, from the White House to being held accountable to “do something” to make sure this plan is implemented and innocent people stop being murdered. Quickly. We need to call on our lawmakers and not not accept the fact that they are prepared to ‘do nothing’. God bless our president.”

Josh Fleitman, CeaseFirePA’s Western Pennsylvania director, said in a statement:

“President Biden spoke tonight on behalf of the overwhelming majority of Americans – and gun owners – saying enough is enough, and it’s high time our elected officials did something about it. the gun violence crisis. While we absolutely need the federal action outlined by the President, we also cannot let our state lawmakers off the hook. Harrisburg must act immediately with a gun violence law. Extreme Risk Protection Order, requiring safe storage of firearms, banning assault weapons and large capacity magazines, requiring reporting of casualties and stolen firearms, and instituting universal background checks It’s been 1,330 days since the PA General Assembly took any action against gun violence, and every day they don’t act, people die.

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