"Nothing, nothing I am about to recommend in any way impinges on the Second Amendment. They are phony arguments suggesting that these are Second Amendment rights at stake from what we are talking about but no amendment, no amendment is absolute," Biden said.
"You can't yell 'fire' in a crowded movie theater and call it freedom of speech," Biden said. "From the beginning, you couldn't own any weapon you wanted to own."
"Enough, enough, enough," Biden said about gun violence.
PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Thank you, Kamala, Madam Vice President. Thank you very much. You know we are joined today by the Attorney General Merrick Garland who I have asked to prioritize gun violence. It's also good to see the second gentleman who is here and it's good to see the first lady Dr. Jill Biden who cares deeply about this issue as well. And I look out there and I see so many members of Congress who have led in this fight, so many of you who have never given up, so many of you are absolutely determined as myself and others are to get this done.
We've got a long way to go. It seems like we always have a long ways to go but I also today we are taking steps to confront not just the gun crisis but what is actually a public health crisis. Nothing, nothing I am about to recommend in any way impinges on the Second Amendment. They are phony arguments suggesting that these are Second Amendment rights at stake from what we are talking about but no amendment, no amendment is absolute. Can't yell--you can't tell fire in a crowded movie theater, recall the freedom of speech. From the very beginning you couldn't own any weapon you wanted to own from the very beginning of the Second Amendment existed certain people weren't allowed to have weapons. So the idea is just bizarre to suggest that some of the things we are recommending are contrary to the Constitution.
Gun violence in this country is an epidemic. Let me say it again, gun violence in this country is an epidemic and it is an international embarrassment.
You know we saw it again last night as I was coming to the Oval Office. I got the word that in South Carolina a physician with his wife, two grandchildren and a person working at his house was gunned down, all five. So many people, so many of the people sitting here today know that well unfortunately. You know they know what it's like when the seconds change your life forever.
I've had the pleasure of getting to meet in awful circumstances many of you, many of you who have lost your children, your husbands, your wives. You know they know what it's like to bury a piece of their soul deep in the earth. We understand that. Mark and Jackie, I want to tell you it's always good to see you but not under these circumstances. I want to say before I introduce the rest of the folks is you know what a lot of people have not been through what they have been through don't understand it takes a lot of courage to come to an event like this. They are absolutely--absolutely determined to make change.
But Mark and Jackie and whose son Daniel was a first grader at Sandy Hook elementary school. Daniel loved sports, loves outdoor sports, getting muddy. I see my friend Fred Guttenberg, his daughter Jamie was a freshman at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas high school. She was an accomplished answer. I see Brandon Wolf who the shooting at the--at the impulse--at the pulse club--nightclub. He survived but his two best friends died. Greg Jackson who was just walking down the street when he was caught in the crossfire of a gunfight and of course I see a close friend of Jill's and mine Congresswoman Gabby Giffords who is here who was--who was speaking with her constituents in front of a grocery store in her state when she was shot and a member of her staff was killed.
You know they are here and there pain is immense and you know what a lot of you, hopefully many of you don't know is if you have gone through a trauma no matter how much you work to make sure others don't go through it every time you show up at an event like this it brings back when you got that phone call, it brings back the immediacy of what happened at that moment so I genuinely mean it thank you, thank you for having the courage, the courage to be here, the courage to continue this fight. Senator Blumenthal understands it, a lot of the folks out here understand it but it takes real courage so thank you.
To turn pain into purpose and demand that we take the action that gives meaning to the word enough, enough, enough, enough because what they want you to know, what they want you to do is not just listen, every day in this country 316 people are shot every single day, 106 of them die every day. Our flag was still flying at half-staff for the victims of the horrific murder of eight primarily Asian American people in Georgia when 10 more lives were taken in a mass murder in Colorado.