WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 14, 2023, marked the anniversary of the Buffalo, New York mass shooting. Ten people were killed in the racially motivated shooting at the Tops grocery store. Three others, including the shooter, were wounded. To mark the anniversary of the shooting, President Biden wrote an op-ed in USA Today saying he’s doing everything he can to curb gun violence but he’s turning to congress to do more.
In the op-ed, Biden said he and the First Lady have spent hours with hundreds of family members whose lives will never be the same following the Buffalo, New York shooting and the elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Following those shootings, congress passed the most sweeping gun violence legislation in decades. In the op-ed, Biden touted the legislation saying the new law showed real progress because it strengthens firearms background checks for young people, expands the use of red flag laws to temporarily remove guns from those who are a danger to themselves or others. He also said the bill helps prevent domestic abusers from buying guns and making investments in mental health. Biden said the enhanced background checks have already stopped more than 160 guns from getting into potentially dangerous hands, according to data from the Justice Department. A year after the Buffalo tragedy, he said “we need to do more”. According to the Gun Violence Archive, an organization that tracks shootings, the US experienced nearly 650 mass shootings last year.
The president said he is doing everything that he can to reduce gun violence but his “power is not absolute”. He said congress must act. He’s now pushing for congress to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, among other requests.
Even though congress passed that bipartisan gun control legislation last year, republicans have pushed back an assault weapons ban.
The Buffalo shooter pleaded guilty to murder and other charges. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole. There is still a federal case pending against him.