Gun Control Protest
A gun control protest in Nashville, Tennessee, on April 3, 2023 John Amis/AFP / John Amis

From 2009 to 2018, the rate of nonfatal gun-related assaults against Hispanic Americans was 128.7 per 100,000 people, compared to 90.5 per 100,000 people for white Americans according to the Gun Violence Archive, an organization that tracks gun violence in the U.S.

Other organizations claim for about around 500 mass shootings in 2023.

Statistics like this fuel a long-running debate between defenders of the Second Amendment, which preserves the right to bear arms, and opponents who advocate restrictions on that right based on what they call an epidemic of violence. Numerous non-governmental and official bodies have been created to address the clamor of the latter.

One of the most representative is the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, a congressional caucus lead by Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA), with 109 members, which seeks to gather the votes to convert into legislation the measures necessary to restrict easy access to long-range weapons by almost anyone who has the money to buy them.

Several Democratic legislators have joined this congressional pressure group, such as Latina congresswoman Nanette Barragán (D-CA) the first Latina to represent her district and raised by immigrant parents from Mexico.

"Our children should not be afraid to go to school," said Rep. Barragán. "Five years after one of the worst school shootings in American history at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, we have seen mass shootings continue to rise. Yet Speaker McCarthy has yet to bring a single gun violence prevention bill to the floor. We call on the Speaker to help us save lives, reduce this horrific violence, and keep our children safe.

However, these efforts by Congress do not seem to come to fruition, or at least with the speed that the seriousness of the matter requires.

The White House announced the creation of an Office of Gun Violence Prevention to help states and localities implement a gun safety package President Joe Biden signed into law last year.

The office will be headed by Vice President Kamala Harris and will aim to coordinate efforts with the different federal agencies that pursue the same objective.

During the launch of this initiative, Biden remembered the victims of the massacres that have shaken the nation.

"Because of all of you here today, all across the country, survivors, families advocates, especially young people who demand our nation do better to protect all, who have protested, organized, voted and ran for office and yes, marched for their lives, I'm proud to announce the creation of the first-ever White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention, the first office in our history," the president declared in the White House Rose Garden.

Biden, in addition to regretting the loss of lives and saluting the victims, did not spare his criticism of the inaction of the Legislature.

"In the absence of additional action in Congress to curb gun violence, the Office of Gun Violence Prevention, along with the rest of my administration, will continue to do everything we can to combat the epidemic of gun violence that is tearing apart our families, our communities, and our country," emphasized Biden.

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