WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden started Independence Day by sharing a message that appeared to the nation’s future, however shortly had to answer one other mass taking pictures in the USA.
“Jill and I are shocked by the mindless gun violence that has but once more introduced grief to an American group on this Independence Day,” the president mentioned in a press release Monday after a minimum of six individuals have been killed in a taking pictures in Highland Park, Illinois, throughout a July Fourth parade.
Biden famous that he had “surged Federal legislation enforcement to help within the pressing seek for the shooter,” and pointed to the gun security laws he just lately signed into legislation. (Authorities mentioned Monday night they’ve taken into custody “an individual of curiosity” related to the taking pictures.) “However there may be way more work to do, and I am not going to surrender preventing the epidemic of gun violence,” Biden added.
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In a while Monday, Biden declined to say whether or not stricter gun legal guidelines would have prevented the lethal taking pictures when pressed by CNN’s MJ Lee. “We do not know the circumstances but,” he mentioned.
Vice President Kamala Harris, who’s in California for the vacation, touted the just lately signed laws in her personal assertion, however added, “At the moment’s taking pictures is an unmistakable reminder that extra ought to be accomplished to handle gun violence in our nation.”
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Biden held a short second of silence on the White Home Monday night throughout a July Fourth picnic, noting that he’d spoken to Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker and Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering.
In remarks commemorating the vacation with army households on the White Home earlier within the afternoon, the President made reference to the brand new gun security legislation and the Illinois taking pictures, saying, “You all heard what occurred right now. … Every day we’re reminded there’s nothing assured about our democracy, nothing assured about our lifestyle.”
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Biden referred to as on Individuals to struggle for democracy, whereas additionally broadly acknowledging nationwide challenges.
“Our economic system is rising, however not with out ache. Liberty is beneath assault — assault each right here and overseas,” he mentioned, alluding to the US Supreme Courtroom overturning Roe v. Wade final month.
“In current days, there’s been motive to assume that this nation is transferring backwards. That freedom has been diminished. That rights we assumed are now not — a reminder that we stay in an ongoing battle for the soul of America, as we’ve got for over 200 years.”
The July Fourth vacation comes amid a difficult time for the nation marked by deepening division, inflation and a current set of polling exhibiting that the overwhelming majority of Individuals throughout occasion traces are sad with the state of the US.
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In an AP-NORC survey launched final week, 85% of US adults say that issues within the nation are headed within the fallacious path, with simply 14% believing issues are getting into the best path. That is a extra pessimistic studying than in Might, when 78% mentioned issues have been headed the fallacious approach and 21% that issues have been typically transferring in the best path. And at present, each 92% of Republicans and 78% of Democrats are dissatisfied with the path of the nation — the very best quantity amongst Democrats since Biden took workplace final yr.
Nonetheless, Biden tried to reassure Individuals, saying, “I do know it may be exhausting and unsettling, however tonight I need you to know we’ll get by way of all this.”
America, he emphasised, is and all the time will likely be a “work in progress.”
“It has so typically been the case that after we have taken large steps ahead, we have taken just a few steps backwards. And after doing the arduous work of laying the inspiration for a greater future, the worst of our previous has reached out and pulled us again from time to time. However I do know this: From the deepest depths of our worst crises, we have all the time risen to our increased heights,” Biden advised the gang on the South Garden. “We have all the time come out higher than we went in.”
Earlier within the day, Biden had launched a forward-looking assertion about how the “finest days nonetheless lie forward.”
“The Fourth of July is a sacred day in our nation — it is a time to have fun the goodness of our nation, the one nation on Earth based based mostly on an concept: that every one individuals are created equal,” Biden mentioned in a tweet. “Make no mistake, our greatest days nonetheless lie forward.”
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