President Biden's loan forgiveness plan is expected to benefit some 40 million borrowers nationwide. Credit: White House photo via

During his recent State of the Union address, President Biden called for a ban on assault weapons. He made that plea again on Tuesday in the wake of the shooting at Michigan State University where three students were killed and five others remain in critical condition.

“I’m going to say something that’s always controversial,” Biden said during comments before the National Association of Counties. “There is no rationale for assault weapons and magazines that hold 50, 70 bullets.” 

The shooting is still under investigation and there is no report about what weapon the assailant, Anthony Dwayne McRae, used in the attack and possibly used in killing himself.

“Our hearts are with the students and families of Michigan State University,” Biden told Michigan Gov. Gretchen Witmer on Monday.

According to a police account, McRae pleaded guilty in 2019 to a weapons-related charge in Lansing, some 90 miles from Detroit, where the college is located.

“It’s a family’s worst nightmare and it’s happening far too often in this country,” Biden said. “While we gather more information, there’s one thing we to know to be true. We have to do something to stop gun violence ripping apart our communities.”

“Ban assault weapons now!” Biden said during his State of the Union speech. “Ban them now! Once and for all.” He had led the fight back in 1994; that was the law for 10 years and mass shootings declined. “After we let it expire in a Republican administration,” Biden continued during his speech, “mass shootings tripled. Let’s finish the job and ban these assault weapons…Make it a bipartisan issue once again.”

Reinstating a ban is likely to be difficult with the Republicans in control of the House and not all Democrats in accord in the Senate.

Meanwhile, as the president and the nation grapple with gun violence, the White House correspondents’ session was disrupted when one of them asked if Biden was “woke” at a Tuesday briefing.

“Let me tell you what the president cares about and what’’s important to this president,” said White House Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. “The president doesn’t concern himself about what Republicans are trying to do in creating political stunts and making an issue out of the things they feel benefits them politically—not the American people, not what matters to the American people, but what benefits them for their own ability to move forward.”

The question was reminiscent of the outburst from Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, when she shouted that Biden was a liar during his State of the Union address. This was perhaps another indication of the gap between any kind of bipartisan agreement on anything between the Democrats and Republicans.

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