Biden: "the Second Amendment is not absolute"

On Wednesday, president Joe Biden said he and first lady Jill Biden will travel to Texas "in the coming days" in order to comfort the community torn apart by the murder of 19 students.

Image Credit: Lynn Melchiori

For the second time, the U.S. president formally addressed the shooting since it occured by reiterating the need for "common-sense" gun laws, and calling on the Senate to confirm his nominee to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The president made the comments while attending an event focused on his signing of an executive order to enhance police accountability.

"Since I spoke last night, the confirmed death toll has tragically climbed, including another teacher and two more—three more students," the president said. "Jill and I will be traveling to Texas in the coming days to meet with the families, and let them know we have a sense, just a sense of their pain. And hopefully, bring some little comfort to the community in shock and grief and in trauma. As a nation, I think we all must be there for them. Everyone. And we must ask when in God's name will we do what needs to be done to, if not completely stop, fundamentally change the amount of the carnage that goes on in this country."

Speculation of new gun laws being introduced after the tragic mass shooting that took place at a Texan elementary school have triggered a rise in shares of firearms and ammunition companies. Investors predict increased sales due to calls for stricter gun control laws proposed by Democrats.

The day before yesterday, by market value, the U.S.’s largest publicly traded gun manufacturer: Sturm, Ruger & Company, saw its stock price increase by 4% at market close. The Second largest Smith & Wesson Brands also saw its shares jump by 7%; the same happened for Vista Outdoor, the parent company of Remington Ammunition: which also increased by 7%. Even though many companies were making gains throughout the day, other major indexes were trading flat while investors were awaiting news from the Federal Reserve on its interest rate policies.

Gun manufacturing companies’ shares normally increase when Democrats call for more restrictions on gun ownership after mass shootings take place; the main reason for the uptick is that: people buy guns just in case new restrictive measures are enforced which would make purchasing weapons harder and costlier than before. Back in 2012, the same scenario occurred after the shooting that took place at Sandy Hook school in the State of Connecticut.

We can already see an example of this trend with search trends for “buy a gun,” which increased immediately after the mass shooting at the elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

U.S. president Joe Biden said that the "The Second Amendment is not absolute."

"The idea that an 18-year-old can walk into a store and buy weapons of war designed and marketed to kill is I think just wrong," president Biden added. "Just violates common sense. Even the manufacturer, the inventor, of that weapon, thought that as well. You know, where's the backbone?"

The United States does have a higher gun crime rate than other countries, mainly because it is easier for criminals to access these types of weapons; but according to FBI statistics violent crime has gone down by 49% in the United States during the period 1993-2019. Even when compared to other countries such as Brazil and Mexico, the United States has homicide rates that are far lower than those countries previously mentioned: both nations have homicide rates that are six times higher than that of the United States. Brazil passed a statute on disarmament in 2005, and this did not stop the crime epidemic that sweeps the nation to this day, nor has it prevented unauthorized access to firearms. Across the world, what can be seen is that gun control laws don't reduce overall crime - they make it worse.

Today, the United Kingdom has one of the strictest gun control laws in the world and one has to go through several hoops in order to be able to obtain a firearm. Despite all of these restrictions, the United Kingdom has one of the highest crime rates in Europe with stabbings increasing over time. In 2017, the city of London overtook New York in terms of crime, thus demonstrating the state in which the capital city finds itself in. After its ban on handguns following the Dunblane massacre in 1997, the country saw a spike in crimes committed with handguns until five years later when its police force increased their personnel by 18%; which is a significant increase: as a result crimes plummeted - but crimes were lower before the ban went into effect.