In an effort to prevent another tragedy like last week’s massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, President Barack Obama appointed Vice President Joe Biden to head a task force to develop a concrete plan no later than January to curb gun violence in the country.
“The fact that we can’t prevent every act of violence, doesn’t mean that we can’t steadily reduce the violence and prevent the very worst violence,” Obama said at the White House five days after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
The administration-wide effort led by Biden will include outside organizations and address an issue of gun control and violence that has not often been broached in Obama’s first term.
Biden’s hand in writing the now-expired 1994 bill banning assault weapons made him the right man for the job, said Obama.
The president said he wants a plan no later than January that he will “push without delay.”
“I will use all the powers of this office to help advance efforts aimed the at preventing more tragedies like this,” the president said.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has long been critical of Washington’s lack of progress on gun control, said he is encouraged by the president’s statements and that it was a ”step in the right direction.”
“The country needs his leadership if we are going to reduce the daily bloodshed from gun violence that we have seen for too long,” Bloomberg said. “The task force must move quickly with its work, as 34 Americans will be murdered with guns every day that passes without common sense reforms to our laws.”