Vice President Joe Biden announced that prompt executive action might be taken to address the issue of gun violence in the United States following the deadly shooting spree in Connecticut last month.
“The president is going to act. Executive orders, executive action can be taken,” said Biden after a meeting with victims groups and gun-safety organizations at the White House Wednesday, according to CNN. “We haven’t decided what this is yet, but we’re compiling it all with the help of the attorney general and all the rest of the cabinet members.”
One month ago, in the wake of the Connecticut mass shooting that left 20 school children dead, President Barack Obama said that steps needed to be taken to curb gun violence. Biden’s announcement highlighted the importance of this issue to the White House, though he did not elaborate on what steps would be taken.
“If our actions result in saving only one life, they’re worth taking,” Biden said, according to NBC News. “I’m convinced we can effect the well-being of millions of Americans, and take thousands of people out of harm’s way, if we act responsibly.”
Biden said the need to curb gun violence was a “moral issue.”
“When I think of all the tragedies that we have endured, I don’t think anything has touched the heart of the American people so profoundly as seeing those and learning of those young children not only being shot but riddled with bullets,” he said, according to CNN. “Every once in a while there’s something that awakens the conscience of the country, and that tragic event did it in a way like nothing I’ve seen in my career,” Biden added.
When pressed for questioning, White House spokesman Jay Carney said that no decision has been made yet. “You heard what the Vice President said earlier today and I think that represents an area where action is possible,” he said, according to an official transcript.
Biden will also meet with leaders from the gun lobby, the National Rifle Association (NRA), and Wal-Mart, the nations largest gun retailer.
The NRA has said that it favors reducing gun violence, but claims that stricter gun control is not the answer. The organization’s CEO, Wayne LaPierre, has suggested that armed guards should be present at every public school in the United States.
Wal-Mart initially declined meeting with Biden, but on Wednesday, the supermarket chain announced that one of its representatives would attend, according to a statement.
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