Speaking virtually at the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives conference in Orlando, Florida, President Joe Biden on Monday argued that Republicans who are opposed to banning assault weapons are not on the side of law enforcement.
Biden specifically targeted Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott (R-FL) in his speech over their opposition to banning assault weapons.
Biden focused his speech primarily on expressing his support for law enforcement. “Being a cop today is a hell of a lot harder than it’s ever been,” Biden said. “We expect everything of you. We expect you to be drug counselors to people overdosing at a scene; therapists to couples during a violent confrontation; social workers to kids who have been abandoned. Maybe worst of all, we send you out to do your job on the streets flooded with weapons of war.”
He continued, “You hear a lot of politicians say about how much they love you, how much they care about you, they’ll do anything for you. In the state you’re in today, Gov. [Ron] DeSantis, Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Rick Scott all opposed banning assault weapons, and Sen. Scott and Rubio voted against the bipartisan gun safety law that I signed.”
“To me, it’s simple. If you can’t support banning weapons of war on American streets, you’re not on the side of police,” he added.
Biden also recognized the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) for supporting his 1994 assault weapons ban, which expired 10 years later. Biden is now renewing his efforts to pass another assault weapons ban.
“I’m determined to do it again,” Biden said. “On the ballot this year will be whether or not this nation bans assault weapons.” Biden added that, while he does “believe in the Second Amendment,” he does not consider it “a right that is absolute.”
“When it comes to assault weapons, too many politicians are bowing down to the NRA. I believe that we should protect you, protect you,” Biden said. “And I’ll keep saying it: when it comes to public safety, the answer isn’t to defund the police, the answer is to fund the police, fund the police.”
Biden concluded his speech, drawing on the events of January 6. As the Daily Wire reports, he claimed that police were “speared, sprayed, stomped on, brutalized” and “dripping with blood, surrounded by carnage.” He added that “You can’t be pro-insurrection and pro-cop. You can’t be pro-insurrection and pro-democracy. You can’t be pro-insurrection and pro-America.”
Biden was prepared to attend the event in-person but had to do so virtually after testing positive for COVID-19 on Thursday.
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