11:55 A.M. EDT
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Good morning. Over the course of my career, I have seen gun violence up close. I have looked at autopsy photographs. I have seen with my own two eyes what a bullet can do to the human body. I have held hands with the hands of parents who have lost a child. I have seen children who were traumatized by the loss of a parent or sibling. And I have fought my entire career to end this violence and to pass reasonable gun safety laws.
Time and again, as progress has stalled, we have all asked, “What are we waiting for?” Because we aren’t waiting for a tragedy; I know that. We’ve had more tragedy than we can bear. We aren’t waiting for solutions either, because the solutions exist. They already exist.
People on both sides of the aisle want action. Real people, on both sides of the aisle, want action. So all that is left is the will and the courage to act. (Applause.) And President Joe Biden has the will and the courage to act. (Applause.)
As a United States senator, Joe Biden took on the gun lobby not once, but twice, and he won. In 1993, he worked to pass the Brady Handgun Violation [Violence] Prevention Act. This law established a background check system and has kept more than 3 million firearms out of the hands of dangerous people. A year later, he worked to pass another law to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines for 10 years.
And as Vice President, Joe Biden led the Obama-Biden administration’s efforts to reduce gun violence. In fact, we were just reminiscing that he and I talked back then about his work — because I was attorney general, at the time, of California — and his work resulted in nearly two dozen actions, from narrowing the gun show loophole to expanding funding for mental health services.
And as you will hear in a moment, President Joe Biden is a leader with great will, great determination, and even greater empathy. He has seen the grief of all of those who have lost a loved one to gun violence. It is for them, for all of us, that he will never, ever give up on this fight.
And it is now my great honor to introduce the President of the United States, Joe Biden. (Applause.)
11:59 A.M. EDT