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Biden honors Monterey Park shooting victims

Steve Angeles | TFC News Los Angeles

Posted at Mar 17 2023 09:07 PM

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U.S. President Joe Biden visited Southern California to meet with a community shaken by gun violence. 

Eleven people were killed at a dance hall in Monterey Park on January 21, during a Lunar New Year reception.

It was deemed the worst mass shooting in Los Angeles county history.

In his address, Biden talked about the victims, including the Filipino-American Marcos Alvero.

"[He was] the life of the party who made the whole room laugh," Biden said of Alvero. "A man devoted to his children and grandchildren."

In Monterey Park, Biden unveiled an executive order aimed at reducing gun violence.

The order strengthens background checks and expands public awareness campaigns for red flag laws.

It also calls for an independent government study on gun companies, as well as for a crackdown on illegal gun dealers.

Biden's order would also increase the emotional and financial support for communities affected by gun violence.

While Biden expressed hopes his order can help keep communities safe, he also called on Congress to push for gun control laws.

"Let’s be clear," he said. "None of this absolves Congress of the responsibility from acting, to pass universal background checks, eliminate gun manufacturers' immunity from liability."

Biden added: "I'm determined once again to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines."

Several members of the Alvero family met with Biden and California Congresswoman Judy Chu.

They told ABS-CBN News that while reliving the tragic day was painful, it also provided healing.

They hope the executive order will effectively reduce gun violence.

Chu, a Democrat who represents Monterey Park, believes that the executive order could have prevented the shooting in January.

"This shooter was mentally deteriorating and he should have been caught by the red flag law because he had both deterioration as well as lots of ammunition," Chu said. "Somebody could have gone and had his guns taken away from him."

Chu was referring to the suspect of the shooting, Huu Can Tran, who was later found dead in an abandoned van.

The National Rifle Association, however, stressed that Biden should instead go after violent criminals.

"The focus of our laws and our efforts should be on the criminal element," the NRA said, "and not on law-abiding Americans."