Friday, December 21, 2012

Biden to meet with law enforcement leaders in post-Newtown push on guns

Vice President Joe Biden, left, listens as President Barack Obama announces Biden will lead an administrationwide??Wasting no time, Vice President Joe Biden meets on Thursday with ?law enforcement leaders? from across the country to launch work on a series of recommendations to battle gun violence in the wake of the school massacre in Newtown, Conn.

The 1 p.m. meeting is to include White House officials, as well as Attorney General Eric Holder, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the White House said.

President Barack Obama on Wednesday tasked Biden with leading an administrationwide effort to craft concrete proposals for tackling what Obama called an ?epidemic? of gun violence. The vice president will report back no later than January.

Obama pushed Congress to pass a series of traditional gun control measures quickly.??A majority of Americans support banning the sale of military-style assault weapons," he said on Wednesday. "A majority of Americans support banning the sale of high-capacity ammunition clips. A majority of Americans support laws requiring background checks before all gun purchases, so that criminals can?t take advantage of legal loopholes to buy a gun from somebody who won?t take the responsibility of doing a background check at all."

He added, ?I urge the new Congress to hold votes on these measures next year in a timely manner."

But he also embraced a broader approach, stressing that ?there?s no law or set of laws that can prevent every senseless act of violence in our society."

?We?re going to need to work on making access to mental health care at least as easy as access to a gun,? he said.??We?re going to need to look more closely at a culture that all too often glorifies guns and violence.?And any actions we must take must begin inside the home and inside our hearts.?


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