Biden promises more gun control, police funding in ‘Safer America Plan’ during Pennsylvania speech
NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!
President Biden appeared at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania on Tuesday to launch his “Safer America Plan” to tackle crime in the US
After warming up the crowd, the president invoked the simpler times of his childhood, when families didn’t have to worry about street crime or drugs.
“Too many families (today) haven’t had that peace of mind. They watch the news. They see kids being gunned down in schools and on the streets almost every night. Turn on the news, that’s what you see.” Biden said.
He added: “They see their neighbors lose their loved one others to drugs like fentanyl. They see hate, anger, and violence walking the streets of America, and they just want to feel safe again. They want to feel a sense of security. And that’s what my criminal plan is all about.”
Fentanyl has been flooding into the United States across the US-Mexico border since Biden took office and moved to rescind many Trump-era policies. The CDC expects fentanyl-related deaths, including overdoses, to approach 100,000 by 2022, a record. Illegal border crossings into the United States have broken records month after month during Biden’s tenure.
CNN’s AVLON SAYS BIDEN’S ‘SEMI-FASCISM’ COMMENTS ‘NOT HELPFUL’ NOR ‘CONVENIENT TO THE OFFICE OF PRESIDENT’
His talk came after several high-profile mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, and ahead of November’s midterm elections. Meanwhile, homicides have been on the rise in Pennsylvania, but overall crime appears to have declined over the past year, according to state statistics.
According to realtor.com, the chance of becoming a victim of violent or property crime in Wilkes-Barre is 1 in 31. According to FBI crime data, Wilkes-Barre is not one of America’s Safest Communities. Relative to Pennsylvania, Wilkes-Barre has a crime rate higher than 92% of cities and towns of all sizes in the state.
In Scranton, which is about 20 miles from Wilkes-Barre and is Biden’s hometown, the chance of becoming the victim of a violent or property crime is 1 in 47.
Amid an increase in crime, the president argued that too much was expected of the police: from protecting citizens to being psychologists or sociologists. He said more funds are needed to train and hire more officers and stressed the need to restore trust between police officers and the community.
BIDEN TO FURTHER FIGHT TO PROTECT DEMOCRACY AFTER KICKS AT ‘MAGA REPUBLICANS’
Biden also said he was committed to banning assault weapons and tightening gun laws, but that he was not outright opposed to guns. As a U.S. senator, he played a prominent role in the temporary ban on assault-style weapons, including firearms similar to the AR-15, and wants to re-enforce the law.
Biden said his new plan would provide more funding for preventative measures, including after-school and summer work programs and mental health resources.
“All these steps will prevent crime, not increase it,” Biden said. “A safer America requires that we all uphold the rule of law, not the rule of any one party or any one person.”
Biden also called out some Republicans for defending Trump supporters who stormed the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.
“Let me say this to my MAGA Republican friends in Congress. Don’t tell me you support law enforcement. If you don’t condemn what happened on the 6th, don’t tell me … what side you’re on ?” Biden said. “You can’t be a party of law and order and call out to people who attack the police on January 6. patriots”
DOJ BANNS POLITICAL APPOINTMENTS FROM PARTISAN EVENTS, WITH DEPARTMENT UNDER Scrutiny
Biden ended his speech by imploring the audience to vote for Democrats in the midterm elections. It was his first of three trips over the next week, underscoring Pennsylvania’s role as a key political battleground. Former President Donald Trump will host his own rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday.
Biden has tried to balance his focus on crime by acknowledging voters’ fears and praising law enforcement, but also calling for more accountability for officers.
He rejected the activist slogan “defund the police,” which many Democrats have used over the past two years and Republicans have used as a cudgel against Democrats in general, calling for more money for police.
Biden has unveiled a $37 billion plan to tackle crime and increase law enforcement resources. He wants Congress to spend $13 billion to help communities hire and train 100,000 police officers over five years. Another $3 billion would go toward clearing court backlogs and solving murder and gun cases, and another $5 billion would go toward supporting programs that could help stop violence before it happens.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
In addition, Biden is seeking $15 billion to give grants to initiatives to prevent violent crime or create public health responses to nonviolent incidents.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.