Reacting swiftly to the mass shooting in San Jose by an apparent “disgruntled employee” who had legally purchased three guns allegedly used in the incident, President Joe Biden called on Congress to pass tougher gun control laws, even though it was immediately obvious California’s already-strict laws hadn’t prevented the carnage.
“Once again,” Biden said in a statement, “I urge Congress to take immediate action and heed the call of the American people, including the vast majority of gun owners, to help end this epidemic of gun violence in America. Every life that is taken by a bullet pierces the soul of our nation. We can, and we must, do more.”
But what more could be done? California already has a 10-day waiting period, so-called “universal background checks” on all firearms sales, and a ban on the so-called “high capacity” magazines possessed by the alleged gunman.
According to CNN, the shooter “had three 9mm pistols and 32 high-capacity magazines, the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday. The magazines, which hold more than 10 rounds, are illegal to possess in California.”
The suspected gunman, identified as Samuel Cassidy, killed nine people and committed suicide. According to Fox News, he “was due to attend a disciplinary hearing that day over claims of racist remarks he made on the job about co-workers, according to reports.”
Cassidy was employed at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA). He worked there for nine years.
Biden renewed his call for a ban on so-called “assault weapons,” even though the alleged killer used handguns in his deadly attack.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Shannon Watts at Moms Demand Action sent a Thursday email blast soliciting contributions, declaring “The U.S. Senate has an opportunity to take bipartisan action on background checks, and we can’t afford to miss this moment.” But according to CNN, the FBI says the suspect’s three handguns were all obtained legally, which means he went through a background check, thus essentially nullifying Watts’ email message.
Anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety was even faster with an appeal, sending out emails Wednesday afternoon while the crime scene was still being investigated. It also called for action on background checks.
Likewise, the Seattle-based Alliance for Gun Responsibility issued a fundraising appeal Wednesday, in which it pushed the nomination of gun control proponent David Chipman to head the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
In all three solicitations, some variation of “We don’t have to live like this” was used.