Joe Biden on Issuing Gun Control Executive Order: ‘I Don’t Want to Emulate Trump’s Abuse of the Constitution’

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President Joe Biden appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Wednesday night to discuss the recent string of mass shootings in the U.S., including one in Uvalde, Tex., which left 19 elementary school children and two teachers dead.

During the conversation, Kimmel asks Biden: “Can’t you issue an executive order? Trump passed those out like Halloween candy.”

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In response, Biden said that he doesn’t want to “emulate Trump’s abuse of the constitution” by issuing many executive orders. “I have issued executive orders, within the power of the presidency, to be able to deal with these — everything having to do with guns, gun ownership — all the things within my power,” Biden said. “But what I don’t want to do, and I’m not being facetious, is emulate Trump’s abuse of the constitution and constitutional authority.”

Biden continued, “I often get asked, ‘Look, the Republicans don’t play it square, why do you play it square?’ Well, guess what? If we do the same thing they do, our democracy would literally be in jeopardy. It’s not a joke.”

Biden and Kimmel also discussed the climate crisis and the potential overturn of Roe v. Wade. “If that occurs, we have to legislate it,” he said of the leaked decision. “We have to make sure we pass legislation making it a law that the federal government says this is how it works.”

Biden continued, “It’s just ridiculous, in my view, and I don’t think the country will stand for it. But I think what we’re going to have to do — there’s some executive orders I could employ. We’re looking at that right now. It’s clear that if, in fact, the decision comes down the way it does and these states impose the limitations they’re talking about, it’s going to cause a mini revolution and they’re going to vote a lot of these folks out of office.”

Despite these issues, Biden said he has “never been more optimistic” about the future. “Look at the kids, look at the young people,” Biden said. “Best educated, least prejudiced, most giving generation in history.”

Biden’s last in-person appearance on a late night talk show was in September 2019, where he was a guest on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” during his campaign for the democratic presidential primary. In December of 2021, President Biden served as a guest on NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” though his conversation was a video interview and he did not visit the production’s studio. Wednesday night, Biden joined Kimmel at the show’s production studio in Los Angeles’ El Capitan Entertainment Centre on Hollywood Blvd.

Watch the full conversation below.

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