News / USA

Biden: Curbing Gun Violence Requires 'Urgent' Action

Vice President Joe Biden, center, with Attorney General Eric Holder at left, speaks during a meeting with victims' groups and gun safety organizations in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 9,Vice President Joe Biden, center, with Attorney General Eric Holder at left, speaks during a meeting with victims' groups and gun safety organizations in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 9,
x
Vice President Joe Biden, center, with Attorney General Eric Holder at left, speaks during a meeting with victims' groups and gun safety organizations in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 9,
Vice President Joe Biden, center, with Attorney General Eric Holder at left, speaks during a meeting with victims' groups and gun safety organizations in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 9,
Kent Klein
Vice President Joe Biden began three days of meetings with various groups Wednesday to discuss gun violence. The vice president will advise President Barack Obama on ways to tackle the problem. 
 
Vice President Biden sat down with victims’ groups and gun safety organizations to hear their stories of gun violence.
 
He said the problem requires immediate action. “The president and I are determined to take action.  This is not an exercise in photo opportunities or just getting to ask you all, well, what your opinions are.  We are vitally interested in what you have to say," he said. 
 
The push for increased gun control came after 20 children and six adults were shot and killed last month at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.
 
Days later, President Obama directed Biden to deliver policy proposals by the end of January. 
 
The president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Dan Gross, said he told officials at the meeting that even many members of the National Rifle Association agree that some anti-violence measures are needed.
 
“No NRA member or hunter wants to see 20 children murdered in a school in Connecticut, or a young man taken away from us on a bus in Chicago.  Nobody wants that," he said. 
 
The vice president said that meetings he and Cabinet secretaries are having with various interested groups will help the president form his policy.
 
“The president is going to act.  There are executive orders, executive action that can be taken.  We have not decided what that is yet.  But we are compiling it all with the help of the attorney general and all the rest of the Cabinet members, as well as legislative action we believe is required," he said. 
 
White House press secretary Jay Carney says in addition to executive action, the president is asking Congress for tighter restrictions on guns and ammunition.
 
“Pass the assault weapons ban, pass legislation that would ban high-capacity magazines, pass a bill that would close loopholes in our background check system," he said. 
 
Obama hopes to announce new initiatives on gun violence shortly after he begins his second term on January 20.
 
The top Senate Republican, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, warned this week that congressional action on gun legislation may have to wait until lawmakers address spending and debt concerns. 
 
Despite the public outrage over the shooting in Connecticut, many Americans are wary of any government actions that might infringe on their constitutional right to own guns.
 
The powerful National Rifle Association, the nation’s largest gun owners’ group, has rejected tougher gun laws and proposed instead that the government put armed guards in every U.S. school.
 
Vice President Biden will meet with the NRA and other gun owners’ groups on Thursday.  The nation’s largest gun seller, Walmart stores, has also agreed to take part.
 
Gun advocates have said new policies on violence should include reforms to mental health policies and an examination of the effects of violent movies and video games.
 
Administration officials plan to meet this week with representatives of the video game and entertainment industries, as well as mental health advocates.
 
Meetings are also scheduled with parent and teacher groups, community organizations, business owners and religious leaders.

You May Like

As US Strikes Syria, China Sees Parallels at Home

Beijing is debating how much support to give international coalition against IS militants and trying to figure out how many Chinese nationals may have joined group overseas More

CDC: Ebola Could Infect 1.4 Million by January

US health officials say if efforts to curb the outbreak are not increased, cases will soar dramatically by early next year More

Video USAID Provides $231 Million for Girls Education in 5 Countries

US Agency for International Development partners with celebrities to call attention to importance of education for girls worldwide More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbiti
X
September 22, 2014 9:20 PM
NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbit

NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid