Biden urges Congress to reinstate assault weapons ban after latest shooting – live | US politics

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A familiar cycle occurs after American mass shootings, and by all appearances, it’s happening again after the twin massacres in California.

It goes something like this: multiple people are killed by a gunman, as happened in California’s Monterey Park on Saturday and Half Moon Bay on Monday. Joe Biden calls for new restrictions on gun ownership, arguing they could have prevented the killer from getting their hands on a weapon. He’s backed by most, if not all Democrats in Congress, but rejected by most, if not all, Republicans. The demand goes nowhere.

The one exception to that came after last year’s shootings at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, when Democrats managed to win enough Republican votes to get a package of modest gun control measures through Congress. But the legislation was not the ban on assault weapons Biden called on Congress pass, a demand he repeated in the months since, as mass shootings continued. With Republicans now controlling the House of Representatives, it seems even less likely such a measure will get approved.

Key events

Donald Trump’s foe today – and potentially for many months to come – is an Atlanta prosecutor with a history of taking on organized crime, the Guardian’s Carlisa N. Johnson reports:

An Atlanta prosecutor appears ready to use the same Georgia statute to prosecute Donald Trump that she used last year to charge dozens of gang members and well-known rappers who allegedly conspired to commit violent crime.

Fani Willis was elected Fulton county district attorney just days before the conclusion of the 2020 presidential election. But as she celebrated her promotion, Trump and his allies set in motion a flurry of unfounded claims of voter fraud in Georgia, the state long hailed as a Republican stronghold for local and national elections.

Willis assumed office on 1 January 2021, becoming the first Black woman in the position. The next day, according to reports, Trump called rad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state, urging him to “find” the nearly 12,000 votes he needed to secure a victory and overturn the election results.

The following month, Willis launched an investigation into Trump’s interference in the state’s general election. Now, in a hearing on Tuesday, the special purpose grand jury and the presiding judge will decide whether to release to the public the final report and findings of the grand jury that was seated to investigate Trump and his allies.

Today may be a big day for Donald Trump, and not in a good way, the Guardian’s Chris McGreal reports:

A judge in Atlanta will hear legal arguments today to determine if he should make public a Georgia grand jury’s report into whether former president Donald Trump committed criminal offences when he tried to overturn the results of the 2020 election in the state.

Before the special purpose grand jury was dissolved two weeks ago after months of hearings, its members recommended releasing its findings while the Fulton county district attorney who launched the investigation, Fani Willis, decides whether to press charges against Trump.

Legal scholars have said they believe Trump is “at substantial risk of prosecution” in Georgia over his attempts to strong-arm officials into fixing the election in his favour when it looked as if the state might decide the outcome of the presidential election. At least 18 other people have been told they also potentially face prosecution, including Trump’s close ally and lawyer, the former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

The Fulton county superior court judge who oversaw the grand jury, Robert McBurney, will hear from Willis but not lawyers for Trump, who said on Monday that they will not participate in the hearing. They said that Willis had not sought to interview the former president for the investigation.

“Therefore, we can assume that the grand jury did their job and looked at the facts and the law, as we have, and concluded there were no violations of the law by President Trump,” the lawyers said in a statement.

While mass shootings such as those that occurred over the past days in California may generate headlines and calls for action, the Guardian’s Oliver Holmes reports gun violence is distressingly common in the United States:

Two horrific killings separated by just a few days have shaken California, but such nightmarish mass shootings cannot be considered abnormal in the US. With a week still left in January, this year there have already been 39 mass shootings across the country, five of them in California.

Reports from the Gun Violence Archive, a not-for-profit research group, show the predictability of American mass shootings. Nearly 70 people have been shot dead in them so far in 2023, according to their data – which classifies a mass shooting as any armed attack in which at least four people are injured or killed, not including the perpetrator.

Broadened out to include all deaths from gun violence, not including suicides, 1,214 people have been killed before the end of the first month of this year, including 120 children. That is likely to increase to tens of thousands by the end of 2023 – the figure for 2022 is 20,200.

In comparison, the latest data from the UK showed that in the course of an entire year ending in March 2022, 31 people were killed by firearms. The UK’s population is 67 million to the US’s 333 million.

A familiar cycle occurs after American mass shootings, and by all appearances, it’s happening again after the twin massacres in California.

It goes something like this: multiple people are killed by a gunman, as happened in California’s Monterey Park on Saturday and Half Moon Bay on Monday. Joe Biden calls for new restrictions on gun ownership, arguing they could have prevented the killer from getting their hands on a weapon. He’s backed by most, if not all Democrats in Congress, but rejected by most, if not all, Republicans. The demand goes nowhere.

The one exception to that came after last year’s shootings at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, when Democrats managed to win enough Republican votes to get a package of modest gun control measures through Congress. But the legislation was not the ban on assault weapons Biden called on Congress pass, a demand he repeated in the months since, as mass shootings continued. With Republicans now controlling the House of Representatives, it seems even less likely such a measure will get approved.

Biden calls to renew assault weapons ban after second mass shooting

Good morning, US politics blog readers. Joe Biden has called for Congress to again pass a ban on assault weapons, after seven people were killed in a mass shooting on Monday on the outskirts of the California town of Half Moon Bay. That was just days after a separate shooter killed 11 people in Monterey Park, a suburb of Los Angeles. Congress passed an assault weapons ban in 1994 that expired 10 years later, and Biden has repeatedly called for renewing it, including after the massacre at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas last year. But many Republicans in Congress oppose such a measure, and just as in the aftermath of previous mass shootings, it seems unlikely to pass.

Here’s what we can expect to happen today:

  • A judge in Atlanta will at 12 pm eastern time convene a hearing to determine whether a special grand jury’s report into Donald Trump’s campaign to meddle in Georgia’s 2020 election outcome will be made public, upping the legal stakes for the former president.

  • Biden will hold a White House meeting with Democratic congressional leaders at 3 pm, and a reception for new lawmakers at 5:20 pm.

  • White House press secretary Karine Jean Pierre will brief reporters at 1:30 pm, who will likely ask her questions abut the Biden classified document scandal that she will not answer.

Biden urges Congress to reinstate assault weapons ban after latest shooting – live | US politics

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