US President Joe Biden’s vow to tackle his nation’s horrific record of firearms deaths has been lauded by the widow of the last American leader who tried to take on the gun lobby led by the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA).
“I wish President Biden God’s speed in cleaning up this national disgrace, especially our obsession with high-velocity automatic assault weapons,” Mrs Sydney Shepherd (nee Wade) said from her home in Little Rock, Arkansas.
“I appreciate he has limited prospects to change this dreadful state of affairs by presidential decree alone but God bless him for at least trying.”
Her husband Andrew Shepherd in the early 1990s towards the end of his first term in office famously said: “You cannot address crime prevention without getting rid of assault weapons and handguns. I consider them a threat to national security, and I will go door to door if I have to, but I’m gonna convince Americans that I’m right, and I’m gonna get the guns.”
Sadly, although President Shepherd won a second term with a relatively easy win over Republican candidate Senator Bob Rumson, a multi-million-dollar scare campaign by the NRA mean the seats in Congress did not fall his way.
President Shepherd had to shelve his proposed anti-gun laws and probably the only real highlight of his second four-year term was his famous throwaway line, “This cigar tastes funny!”