American communities being torn apart by gun violence: Biden

Washington, Feb 18 (IANS): Just hours after six people were shot dead in a rural Mississippi town, US President Joe Biden said that American communities are "being torn apart by gun violence".

"Thoughts and prayers aren't enough," Biden said. "Gun violence is an epidemic and Congress must act now."

He asked for what he called commonsense gun law reforms, including, among other things, requiring background checks on all gun sales and banning assault weapons, reports Xinhua news agency.

However, it is unlikely that Congress would pass those proposals with Republicans controlling the House of Representatives this term and advocating for the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

A shooter -- identified as Richard Dale Crum -- was taken into custody on Friday afternoon after reportedly opening fire on his former wife and potentially other family members at three different locations in Arkabutla, a small town in Mississippi's Tate County.

Crum, 52, faces charges of first-degree murder in connection with the rampage, according to the Tate County Sheriff's Office.

Additional charges, for each of the other victims, will be filed in the coming days. Crum is being held without bond in the Tate County Jail.

"Our hearts are heavy as we learned about the tragic event that happened in Arkabutla," the Tate County Government wrote in a Facebook post on Friday night.

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves said on Friday afternoon that he has been briefed on the series of shootings in Tate County.

"We believe he acted alone. His motive is not yet known," Reeves said in a statement, adding that the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation has been asked to assist in the investigation.

The US has lost more than 5,500 lives to gun violence so far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive.


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