Obama taps Biden to lead gun commission
In the wake of the worst act of American gun violence in a generation, President Barack Obama has tapped Vice President Joe Biden to lead an inter-agency task force to examine the next step in new gun control regulations and deliver “concrete recommendations in about a month.”
“We know this is a complex issue that stirs deeply held passions and political divides,” Obama said. “But the fact that this problem is complex can no longer be an excuse for doing nothing.”
Biden will lead the new group consisting of the president’s cabinet and other top administration officials that are tasked with developing recommendations aimed at preventing another tragedy involving guns like the one in Newtown, Conn. last Friday that took the lives of 26 individuals including 20 children. Biden spearheaded passage of the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act when he served in the Senate.
Obama acknowledged that the issue isn’t going to be stopped with a single piece of legislation, and without waiting on the findings of this new task force called for stricter background checks and limiting the purchases of high capacity magazines.
Many conservative organizations are concerned that the Newtown tragedy and the recent Aurora, Colo. movie theater shooting is just the beginning of the administration’s wish to extend government regulations on firearms. Today, Obama tried to distinguish himself and his administration’s thoughts on gun rights.
“The fact is the vast majority of gun owners in America are responsible,” Obama said. “But you know what — I am also betting that the majority, the vast majority of responsible law-abiding gun owners would be some of the first to say that we should be able to keep an irresponsible law-breaking few from buying a weapon of war.”
“If we aren’t getting the need to keep our children safe, nothing else matters,” Obama said.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney acknowledged earlier this week that pushing for stricter gun laws would be the first order of business when Obama’s second term begins in the New Year, including support of Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-Calif.) resurrection of the so-called assault weapons ban.
“He supports, and would support, legislation that addresses the problem of the so-called gun show loophole. And there are other elements of gun legislation that he could support,” Carney said. “People have talked about high-capacity ammunition clips, for example, and that is something certainly that he would be interested in looking at.”