Since taking workplace, President Biden has traveled a grim path by means of American communities desperately grieving within the wake of mass shootings: Uvalde, Texas; Monterey Park, Calif.; Buffalo; Atlanta.
On Friday, he provides one other to the record: Lewiston, Maine.
For greater than two hours, Mr. Biden will huddle privately with the households of these killed or injured throughout final month’s rampage that claimed the lives of 18 individuals at a bar and a bowling alley within the metropolis about an hour north of Portland. He may even meet with nurses, native officers and the primary responders who spent two days in a manhunt for the killer.
It’s the unhappy actuality of the fashionable presidency that the occupant of the Oval Workplace is commonly known as upon to channel the nation’s sorrow and to straight console these whose lives have been shattered. For Mr. Biden, whose personal life has been formed by grief, it’s a function he embraces as a essential a part of therapeutic.
The president’s temporary go to just isn’t, White Home officers acknowledged, a second for Mr. Biden to start a forceful, new push for gun management measures, although he’ll repeat his need for a ban on assault weapons, common background checks and different laws that each events in Congress agree haven’t any likelihood of passing amongst polarized lawmakers.
As a substitute, the president intends to make use of the chance to induce People to not settle for the spasms of lethal violence as simply one other routine a part of life in the USA.
“Sadly — sadly, the sort of journey by the president has grow to be too acquainted, far too acquainted,” Karine Jean-Pierre, the White Home press secretary, stated on Thursday. “Too many occasions, the president and the primary woman have traveled to communities utterly torn aside by gun violence. Because the president stated final week, this isn’t regular, and we are able to’t settle for it as regular.”
Shortly after the bloodbath, Mr. Biden declared his frustration at one more mass taking pictures. The gunman, Robert R. Card II, 40, was discovered lifeless of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound on Friday, two days after the killings.
“As soon as once more, an American group and American households have been devastated by gun violence,” Mr. Biden stated. “In all, not less than 18 souls brutally slain, extra injured, some critically, and scores of household and pals praying and experiencing trauma nobody ever desires to think about.”
The president’s arrival in Maine comes as an investigation continues into Mr. Card’s motives and as regulation enforcement officers face questions on why nothing was carried out to forestall Mr. Card’s rampage — regardless that officers at his Military Reserve unit and the native police knew for months of his deteriorating psychological well being.
Members of Mr. Card’s household first warned the Sheriff’s Workplace in Sagadahoc County, the place Mr. Card lived, in Could that he had collected a couple of dozen weapons and was rising more and more paranoid and offended. By that point, the Military Reserve was already conscious of his decline, data present.
Then, in September, Military Reserve officers in Saco, Maine, requested the Sheriff’s Workplace to verify on Mr. Card after he punched a good friend and stated he was going to hold out a taking pictures rampage on the Reserve base and elsewhere.
However regardless of these warnings, the Sheriff’s Workplace by no means made contact with Mr. Card, opting as a substitute to belief that his household would have the ability to take away his weapons. Somewhat over a month later, he carried out the deadliest mass taking pictures of the yr.
Maine has excessive charges of searching and gun possession and has stopped in need of the “purple flag” legal guidelines in different states that permit police to take weapons from people who find themselves discovered to be a hazard to themselves or others.
As a substitute, Maine has a “yellow flag” regulation that requires the police to have an individual evaluated by a medical practitioner after which go earlier than a decide earlier than the particular person’s firearms could be taken away.