Biden: 'The Answer Is Not to Defund the Police' | CNSNews

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The call of “Defund the Police” was a commonly used slogan during the aftermath of the death of George Floyd. As the energy around the push to “Defund the Police” fades, Biden seems to be signaling the opposite. Continue reading this story from CNSNews.com:

(L-R) New York City Mayor Eric Adams, US President Joe Biden and New York Governor Kathy Hochul, participate in a Gun Violence Strategies Partnership meeting at the NYPD Headquarters in New York on February 3, 2022. (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AF

(CNSNews.com) – President Biden said Thursday that his strategy to combat gun violence includes increased funding for police departments, funding for community policing, providing for more social workers and mental health professionals, cracking down on the flow of guns, and bringing federal charges against those who use ghost guns.

“Mayor Adams, you and I agree, the answer is not to abandon our streets. That’s not the answer. The answer is come together, police in communities and building trust and making us all safer. The answer is not to defund the police. It’s to give you the tools, the training, the funding to be partners, to be protectors and community needs you, and know the community,” Biden said during a trip to New York City.

“Police need to treat everyone with respect and dignity. That’s why I called on the Congress to pass a budget later this year that provides cities like New York and others with an additional $300 million for community policing. You know, where the police interact with the community, get to know the community, build trust in the community,” the president said.

“And I have noticed in my experience when I wrote the first crime bill, I noticed I don’t hear many communities, no matter what the color, their background, saying I don’t want more protection in my community. I don’t know, I have not found one of those yet, and so I have asked the Congress to provide $200 million to invest in community violence intervention programs as well. They work. They work where community members with credibility work directly with people most likely to commit crimes or be victims of gun crimes and they work,” he said.

For example, in 2017, the program I’m going to see this afternoon, which sends people in the community to interrupt violence, to mediate conflicts, to deescalate, succeed in preventing a single shooting from occurring in this largest public housing development last year. No shooting for a full year because they engaged directly with the community,” Biden added. 

The president stressed that his administration is not in support of defunding the police.

“Look, as I said, we are not about defunding, we are about funding and providing the additional services you need beyond someone with a gun strapped to their shoulders, to their hip. We need more social workers, need more mental health workers. We need more people who when you are called on the scene and someone is about to jump off a roof it’s not just someone standing there with the weapon, and someone who also knows how to talk to people, talk them down,” Biden said. 

“We can’t expect you do every single solitary thing that needs to be done to keep a community safe. It’s time to fund community policings, to protect and serve the community. I’m also calling for increased funding for Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, and I think I have a lot of partners here, New York will help. I’m confident that if we fund these programs, we’ll see a reduction in violence. In the next year’s budget, I’m also going to try to double down on this budget,” he said.

Biden’s plan is to “crack down on the flow of firearms,” which includes “taking on and shutting down rogue gun dealers.”

“It’s about doing background checks, as well as outright selling, making sure people who are not allowed to have a gun don’t get the gun in the first place,” the president said. 

Biden stressed that his plan does not violate the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms. In defending his plan to crack down on the sale of certain assault weapons, he said that when the 2nd Amendment was passed, it didn’t allow people to buy a canon.

“And again, for any of the press, any of the press listening, this does not violate anybody’s Second Amendment right. There’s no violation to the Second Amendment right. We talk like there’s no amendment that’s absolute. When the amendment was passed it did not say anybody can own a gun and any kind of gun and any kind of weapon. You couldn’t buy a canon when this amendment was passed,” he said.

The president also announced steps to crackdown on ghost guns.

“There’s no reason why you should be able to buy certain assault weapons, but that’s another issue, and look, one of the things that we focused on – the attorney general and I – getting to the point I think we are going to be able to have a real impact on it includes going after ghost guns,” he said.

“Ghost guns are the guns everyone in this room knows can be purchased in parts, assembled at home, no serial number, and can’t be traced and as deadly as any other weapon out there, but the fact is they are out there, and you know, this spring the Justice Department, this spring, the Justice Department will issue a final rule to regulate these so-called ghost guns, but there’s more we can do,” the president said.

“Across the country, police departments reported sharp increases in the number of ghost guns found at crime scenes. That’s why today the department is launching an intensified national ghost gun enforcement initiative to determine and deter the criminals from using those weapons to cover their tracks. If you commit a crime with a ghost gun, not only will state and local prosecutors gonna come after you, but expect federal charges and federal prosecution as well,” Biden said.

Furthermore, the president said that in addition to creating a strike force to crackdown on illegal gun trafficking across state lines, Attorney General Merrick Garland “directed all U.S. Attorneys in the United States to prioritize combatting gun trafficking across state lines and city boundaries.” 

“The Justice Department is sending additional prosecutorial resources to help shut down what’s referred to as you know as the iron pipeline that funnels guns from shops in states like Georgia to crime scenes in Baltimore and Philadelphia and New York and so many other places,” Biden said.

“Governor, you worked with the mayor of the NYPD and nine other states to create an interstate task force on illegal guns. That’s the kind of leadership that’s going to solve the problem. I’m eager to hear more about the progress,” he said.

“I want more cities and states to use some of the $350 billion we sent to them on the American Rescue Plan to fight crime to keep our communities safe, by hiring more police officers for community policing and paying police overtime and purchasing gun fighting technologies like the technologies that hears, locates gunshots, so there can be immediate response because you know exactly where it came from,” Biden said.

“The third thing our plan calls for, investing in critical services that reduce crime and violence: community violence intervention programs like the one I’m going to see after this meeting, summer school, after school programs for teens,” the president said. 

“As the saying goes, the teachers taught me, idle mind is the devil’s workshop. We have to have things for these kids to do. Jobs for young adults, more school counselors and nurses, more mental health required in school, and mental health substance abuse treatment as well,” he said. 

“Fourthly, when someone finishes their time in prison all our experience tells us you just can’t continue to give them 25 bucks and a bus ticket. They’ll end up under the same bridge you arrested them in the first place from. So I don’t want them ending up back in prison or being there because they committed another crime. They need to be able to train for and get a job, find stable housing, re-enter society and have a second chance at a better life,” Biden said.

“My Department of Labor is funding programs that help formerly incarcerated individuals, including young adults, receive the education and training they need and then connect them to quality jobs,” the president said.

“I’ll keep doing everything in my power to make sure that communities are safer, but Congress needs to do its job too – pass universal background checks, ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines, close loopholes and keep out of the hands of domestic abusers weapons, repeal the liability shield for gun manufacturers. Imagine had we had a liabil—they’re the only industry in America that is exempted from being able to be sued by the public – only one,” he said.

“Imagine had that been the way with cigarette manufacturers. Where the hell — where the heck would we be? We’d be in tough shape. Why gun manufacturers? Because of the power of the lobbying ability. It’s got to end, end, they have to be held responsible for the things they do they are irresponsible,” Biden said.

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