President Joe Biden has demanded Congress take action to enact "common sense" gun reforms after a shooting rampage in Mississippi Friday left six dead. The demand came as he is turning a "blind eye" to Republicans and others who are calling for "common sense" changes to secure the border, a Republican lawmaker claimed.
"We need—need—commonsense gun law reforms," Biden said in a statement on Friday, after suspected shooter Richard Crum, 52, is believed to have used a shotgun and two handguns to carry out a shooting rampage that spanned three different locations across Tate County, Mississippi.
The president added: "That includes requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, fully closing the boyfriend loophole to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, requiring safe storage of guns, and eliminating immunity for gun manufacturers who knowingly put weapons of war on our streets."
Biden’s words came as Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-ND, has accused him of avoiding the southern border and failing to "acknowledge the catastrophe at the southern border and makes common sense reforms to stem the tide."
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"For two solid years, President Biden has avoided the southern border, turned a blind eye to agents overwhelmed by the influx in illegal crossings, and glossed over the devastating impacts on our nation," Cramer said in a statement published Feb. 10. "The administration must act to address the urgent humanitarian and crime crises it created. These bills acknowledge the catastrophe at the southern border and makes common sense reforms to stem the tide."
Senator Katie Britt, R-AL, similarly suggested Biden was failing to act to secure the border.
"There is an unprecedented humanitarian and national security crisis at our southern border," Britt said. "This is a direct, avoidable result of the Biden Administration’s dangerously weak policies. Hardworking parents across our nation want their children to grow up in safe, strong communities so that they can reach their full potential and live their American Dream. This legislation would help secure that dream for families in every corner of our country."
Britt is leading two pieces of legislation aimed at securing the border: the "Keep Our Communities Safe Act," which calls for the end of the Obama-Biden catch-and-release policy, and a resolution acknowledging the state of the southern border constitutes a crisis.
More recently, Senator Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz., who was elected as a Democrat, has also introduced bipartisan legislation to secure the border.
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Her bill would eliminate federal restrictions and grant the Commissioner of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) the authority to conduct maintenance projects at ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border.
"Arizona’s ports are our first line of defense to stop dangerous drugs and individuals from entering the United States, and a key driver of our local economy. Our legislation builds on the historic investments strengthening America's port infrastructure in my bipartisan infrastructure law by cutting red tape and allowing local CBP leadership to make repair decisions that work for their officers, without waiting for Washington," Sinema said on Feb. 15.
The legislation was co-introduced with Sen. James Lankford R-Okla., who described it as a "straightforward solution."
"During my visits to the southern border, it is evident that CBP needs to repair ports between the US and Mexico. Bureaucratic red tape has blocked CBP from making those simple fixes to increase border security and better manage trade. This bill is a straightforward solution that will ensure our CBP officers have the resources they need to keep the country secure," Lankford said.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., on Thursday visited Cochise County, Ariz., with Reps. Juan Ciscomani, R-Ariz., Lori Chavez-DeRemer, R-Ore., Jen Kiggans, R-Va., and Derrick Van Orden, R-Wis.
Cochise County is located in southeast Arizona, bordering New Mexico and Mexico.
The four Republicans are freshman members who flipped Democratic seats in the most recent midterm elections.
"The new majority in Congress, we’re gonna fight to fix this problem. No longer will the Democrats be able to ignore the issue and act like it’s not happening," McCarthy said Thursday. "We will have hearings on the border. It’s the responsibility of all members to attend. Those who come to testify will come from both sides of the aisle."
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Mark Morgan, a former acting CBP commissioner in the Trump administration, told The Hill that addressing the crisis is "really common sense," according to FOX 4.
"It’s really common sense. It’s what leaders do. They go to the heart of the crisis, whether it’s a hurricane or tornado, a terrorist attack, it doesn’t matter," Morgan said.
He added: "When you physically see it up close and personal, it changes your understanding. It changes your perspective."
Biden's Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas claims the southern border is under "operational control." Republicans have called for his impeachment.
McCarthy said Republicans in the House will continue to push legislation aimed at securing the border.
"We’ve got a lot of ideas inside Congress. It’s different than the Congress before," McCarthy said Thursday, according to WDAF.
The shooting in Mississippi ended Friday afternoon when officials ultimately found Crum at his home and apprehended him. He was charged with one count of murder but is expected to face additional charges.
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"Enough," Biden said after the incident. "We are 48 days into the year, and our nation has already suffered at least 73 mass shootings. Thoughts and prayers aren’t enough. Gun violence is an epidemic, and Congress must act now."
He continued, "Jill and I are mourning for the six killed in today’s violence in Tate County, Mississippi — as we have for far too many Americans. We grieve with their families and with Americans nationwide as gun violence claims yet more lives. We are also praying for the recovery of those injured in this horrendous attack and for survivors who will carry both grief and trauma with them for the rest of their lives."
The suspect’s motives are not known at this time.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.