News / USA

    US Gun Violence Task Force Holds First Meeting

    Vice President Joe Biden (center) with members of gun violence task force meet at White House Dec. 20, 2012Vice President Joe Biden (center) with members of gun violence task force meet at White House Dec. 20, 2012
    x
    Vice President Joe Biden (center) with members of gun violence task force meet at White House Dec. 20, 2012
    Vice President Joe Biden (center) with members of gun violence task force meet at White House Dec. 20, 2012
    A gun violence task force, created by President Barack Obama and headed by Vice President Joe Biden, held its first meeting Thursday to begin to seek solutions to gun violence in the wake of the massacre of children and adults at an elementary school in Connecticut.

    Biden's job is to guide the group of Cabinet officials and government agency chiefs as they consult with city and state officials and others to come up with ideas, and draw up recommendations for Congress.

    Thursday's meeting included state law enforcement officials.  Also present -- Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius.

    Obama has said the many complexities of the gun violence problem in America -- including mental health, education and the constitutional right to bear arms -- must not prevent action.

    Opening the meeting, Biden reiterated Mr. Obama's determination in the wake of the school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut that left 20 children and six adults dead.

    "The president is absolutely committed to keeping his promise that we will act, and we will act in a way that is designed, even as he says, if we can only save one life, we have to take action," Biden said.

    President Obama says he will act without delay on task force recommendations, and ensure that proposals are sent to Capitol Hill and acted upon by Congress "in a timely manner."

    The Connecticut shootings created an unprecedented level of national debate, and seemingly momentum for some sort of action.  But the attention of Congress next year still will be on difficult fiscal issues.

    During a news conference focusing on the apparent impasse with President Obama over a fiscal deal, House of Representatives Speaker Republican John Boehner would not commit to taking up gun control legislation.

    "He has appointed Vice President Biden to lead a commission; when the vice president's recommendations come forward we will certainly take them into consideration.  But at this point I think our hearts and souls ought to be, to think about those victims in this horrible tragedy," Boehner said.

    At the White House, reporters tried to obtain a clearer picture of how the president will pursue his gun violence action agenda.

    Besides congressional action, which may be difficult to achieve in the face of the powerful gun lobby groups, Obama has the option of issuing executive orders to move the process forward.

    Press secretary Jay Carney had this response when asked about this avenue for action.

    "There are the specific things already that the president has called on Congress to do, and will continue to call on Congress to do.  There will be other efforts that will require congressional action I suspect, but as we said from the beginning it does not begin and end with congressional action.  There are numerous other things that we need to do as a nation and that we in Washington can do," Carney said.

    In remarks Wednesday, President Obama said a majority of Americans support banning the sale of military-style assault weapons, and high capacity ammunition clips, and support laws that would require background checks before all gun purchases.

    You May Like

    US, Somalia Launch New Chapter in Relations

    US sends first ambassador to Somalia in 25 years; diplomatic presence and forces pulled out in 1993, after 18 US soldiers were killed when militiamen shot down military helicopter

    Brexit Vote Ripples Across South Asia

    Experts say exit is likely to have far-reaching economic, political and social implications for a region with deep historic ties to Britain

    Russian Military Tests Readiness With Snap Inspections

    Some observers see surprise drill as tit-for-tat response to NATO’s recent multinational military exercises in Baltic region

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Martin L. Church from: California
    December 22, 2012 1:13 AM
    Where is the outcry of the murder of the 446 school age children that has occurred in Chicago - Obama's home town? Any lost of innocent lives is a heart breaking thing, but where was the liberal media and why wasn't there an outcry of the magnitude that America has seen over the last few days when all these innocent children were slandered?
    446 School Age Children Shot in Chicago so Far This Year
    THE LIST OF SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN SHOT IN 2012
    18 year old- 110
    17 year old- 99
    16 year old- 89
    15 year old- 62
    14 year old- 39
    13 year old- 21
    12 year old- 10
    11 year old- 2
    10 year old- 3
    9 year old- 1
    7 year old- 3
    6 year old- 2
    5 year old- 1
    4 year old- 1
    3 year old- 1
    1 year old- 2

    by: Anonymous from: Iowa
    December 20, 2012 10:04 PM
    This last shooting the killer got his weapons from some one that had a good background. How about a law that would give a couple of neighbors, that agree there is a problem, to get him evaluated. If he doesn't measure up commit him to a mental facility.

    by: John from: Hawaii
    December 20, 2012 9:46 PM
    43 people die a month in Chicago, over a thousand a month in all urban areas combined.
    Ban "urban areas"

    by: JAMES C LANGELLE from: KB 96143 USA
    December 20, 2012 9:37 PM
    While VP Joe Biden was in the Senate, he introduced over 800 bills, only 9 of them were related to assault weapons:

    SEN. JOE BIDEN ASSAULT WEAPONS RECORD IN SENATE

    http://deadline2013.blogspot.com

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Testing Bamboo as Building Materiali
    X
    June 27, 2016 9:06 PM
    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapides’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora