By Mike Bedigan, PA Los Angeles Correspondent
US president Joe Biden discussed the recent incidents of gun violence in the US as he appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! during his first in-person appearance on a late night talk show since taking office.
It comes after a spate of mass shootings across the nation including in Buffalo, New York, Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Uvalde, Texas, which left 19 school children dead.
Asked by Mr Kimmel why he had not issued an executive order to help stop such tragedies occurring, Mr Biden said he did not want to “emulate (Donald) Trump’s abuse of the Constitution”.
President @JoeBiden on issuing an Executive Order in response to gun violence… pic.twitter.com/KUXsyNfZrW
— Jimmy Kimmel Live (@JimmyKimmelLive) June 9, 2022
“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,” he 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.”
He 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.”
The president’s last in person appearance on a late night show was also on Kimmel in September 2019, during his election campaign for the democratic presidential primary.
In December 2021 he appeared as a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, but gave the interview virtually.
It comes after Matthew McConaughey made emotional opening remarks at the top of a White House press briefing.
The actor called on Congress to “reach a higher ground” and pass gun control legislation in honour of those killed during the incident in Uvalde, his home town.
During his speech he related personal stories of a number of the victims, displaying the artwork of one girl and the trademark green Converse trainers worn by another.
McConaughey acknowledged that gun legislation would not end mass shootings but suggested that steps can be taken to lessen the chances of such tragedies happening so frequently.