Biden asks New Zealander Ardern for advice on extremist gun violence

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Washington, (UrduPoint/Pakistan Point News – June 1, 2022): President Joe Biden sought advice from New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Tuesday after the latest mass shooting in the United States, but the White House also acknowledged the limitations it faces in gun control compared to its close allies.

During an Oval Office meeting with Ardern, Biden discussed the killing of 51 people in Christchurch in 2019 in mass shootings targeting Muslims.

The bloodshed prompted New Zealand to ban military-style rifles and institute a successful gun buy-back.

“We need your guidance,” Biden said, referring to the broad US-New Zealand partnership, but in particular what he called a “global effort to address online violence and extremism.” . “I want to work with you on this effort,” he added.

Biden, who traveled to the Texas town of Uvalde on Sunday to mourn the death of 19 children and two teachers killed by a gunman with an assault rifle, said there was “tremendous suffering” and that “much of it is avoidable”. .” Less than two weeks earlier, Biden had also visited the site in New York state of another mass shooting, this time targeting African Americans.

But with the United States awash in privately owned guns and the right to own guns entrenched in the constitution, the Democrat faces an uphill struggle to get even the most modest new restrictions in Congress approved.

There is little chance of banning assault-type semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15, a model used in both Texas and New York shootouts, but also extremely popular among ordinary Americans for its ease of use and its sleek military-style look.

Biden supports an assault weapons ban, but so far there aren’t enough Republicans in the evenly divided Senate to secure a working majority.

Even his potentially less controversial proposal for increased background checks on gun buyers could sink in the Senate.

Political resistance to the tampering with easy access to firearms contrasts sharply not only with New Zealand and closest US allies in Asia and Europe, but also with neighboring Canada.

There, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday proposed banning handgun sales, though his country has had much rarer experiences of mass shootings than across the border.

Nothing similar can be expected in the United States, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Tuesday.

Biden “does not support a ban on the sale of all handguns,” she stressed. “We will leave it up to other countries to define their policies on gun ownership.” Under pressure from Democrats to show the government is at least trying to address the ever-growing toll, Biden told reporters he’ll “meet Congress on guns, I promise.” Ardern offered his condolences for the murders in Texas and New York, saying “our experience in this regard is our own, but if there’s anything we can share that would have any value, we’re here to help. to share it.” texting/mlm

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