Biden Calls for ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban After Week of White House Turmoil

President Joe Biden used a rare prime-time address to call for a ban on ‘assault weapons’ after a week of reports of turmoil and dissension within his White House.


President Joe Biden used a rare prime-time address to call for a ban on ‘assault weapons’ after a week of reports of turmoil and dissension within his White House.

  • In his speech, Biden asked, “How much more carnage are we willing to accept” and said mass shootings had turned schools into “killing fields.”
  • The president called for a ban on so-called ‘assault weapons’ and high-capacity magazines, expanding background checks, allowing shooting victims to sue gun manufacturers, and raising the minimum purchase age from 18 to 21.
  • Biden’s address comes after three mass shootings in as many weeks. A white supremacist attacked a Buffalo grocery store, killing 10, an angry patient shot his doctor and three others at a Tulsa medical facility, and an 18-year-old assaulted a Uvalde elementary school that, partially due to police incompetence, left 21 dead.
  • Biden’s address caps off a rough week for the administration. A series of reports – from NBC News, POLITICO, the Washington Post, and CNN – characterized Biden as an angry hostage to a “rolling series of calamities” (partially of his own making) and his White House as “adrift.”
  • In an attempt to right the ship, Biden published op-eds in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal that offered vague promises of plans to deal with Ukraine and inflation that at times contradicted his recent public statements.


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • CNN’s coverage of Biden’s speech included an update on bipartisan Senate negotiations on potential gun laws. Senators seem to be focusing on ‘red flag’ laws as a possible avenue for new federal legislation.
  • NBC News’ report on the Biden White House ‘adrift’ is worth reading in full. Biden’s poor polling and frustration with his inability to respond to multiple crises seems likely to doom Democrats in the midterms and lead to a massive staff shakeup in the West Wing.
  • POLITICO profiled Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), whose support would be critical to any potential Senate action on guns after the Uvalde elementary school shooting devastated his state.



  • The Washington Free Beacon summed up Biden’s op-eds succinctly: ‘there is no plan.’ Author Matt Continetti argued, “the closer attention you pay to Biden, the less he has to say.” Ouch. 
  • National Review highlighted an underreported aspect of this week’s stories on Biden’s frustrations with his own staff: the misgivings among even top Democrats about Biden’s plan to forgive student loans. If even his advisors believed that “this is a complete disaster,” why is the administration pushing it? Apparently, it’s due to pressure from Stacey Abrams. Remarkable. 
  • Commentary characterized the profiles of a Biden administration in turmoil as Biden’s presidency reaching the “self-pity stage.” As Noah Rothman wrote, “the self-pitying stage is a signpost on a long road toward an outright failed presidency or at least an unremarkable one.”

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© Dominic Moore, 2022