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Joe Biden’s Gun Violence Group Meeting All Week
On Wednesday, as Vice President Joe Biden drafted the Obama administration’s response to the Sandy Hook shooting, representatives from victims groups and gun-safety groups told personal stories, according to The Associated Press.
“I want to make it clear that we are not going to get caught up in the notion (that) unless we can do everything we’re going to do nothing,” Biden said. “It’s critically important (that) we act.”
Biden’s meeting on Wednesday was part of a series that Biden is holding during the week to build consensus for proposals of gun control. According to Biden, “the president is going to act” and the White House determined that “executive action can be taken.”
At some point on Thursday, Biden is scheduled to meet with the National Rifle Association and other gun groups. He also has meetings scheduled with the entertainment and video game industries to discuss violence. Biden has until the end of January to deliver policy proposals to Obama.
During the meeting with Biden on Wednesday, those in attendance included the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence and groups from the states of Arizona, Illinois and Wisconsin. Those states have endured gun violence recently that have made national news. Two survivors from the Virginia Tech shooting that killed 32 people spoke to Biden. The stepfather of a victim from the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting spoke to Biden as well. Eric Holder, the Attorney General was in attendance.
“The biggest problem we have at the moment is spending and debt,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said. “That’s going to dominate the Congress between now and the end of March. None of these issues will have the kind of priority as spending and debt over the next two or three months.”
In the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, the NRA continues to reject tougher gun laws and offered the suggestion of the government placing armed guards in each school in the United States in an effort to end violence. It is expected that Obama will offer the next steps by his administration to curb gun violence not long after he is sworn in on January 21, 2013.
Obama has asked Congress to reinstate a ban on military assault weapons and restrict high-capacity magazines. The Biden group has heard recommendations that have included making gun-trafficking a felony, forcing federal agencies to submit data to the National Gun Background Check Database and to prosecute people who lie on gun background check paperwork.
“It is not a problem that can be solved by any specific action or single action that the government might take,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney said. “It’s a problem that encompasses issues of mental health, of education, as well as access to guns.”