January 9, 2013
WASHINGTON — Facing an end-of-the-month deadline, the Obama administration is calling gun owner groups, victims' organizations and representatives from the video-game industry to the White House this week for discussions on potential policy proposals for curbing gun violence.
President Barack Obama has ordered an administration-wide task force to send him proposals by the end of January. The group, led by Vice President Joe Biden, was formed in response to last month's horrific massacre of 20 children and six adults at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school.
Biden will meet today with gun violence victims' groups and gun safety organizations, a White House official said. On Thursday, he will hold talks with gun ownership groups, as well as advocates for sportsmen. The vice president also plans to meet this week with representatives from the entertainment and video-game industries. The official was not authorized to discuss the meetings before they were publicly announced and thus spoke on condition of anonymity.
Newtown catapulted gun control to the top of Obama's priority list for the first time in his presidency and led some pro-gun lawmakers on Capitol Hill to express a willingness to consider new measures.
But gun control already has taken a backseat in Washington to economic issues. Congress will face another set of pressing economic deadlines in March.
Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, the top Republican in the Senate, said the next fiscal deadlines will push off consideration of gun legislation for at least three months.
Obama aides say the president still plans to act quickly on Biden's proposals. They worry that as the shock of the Newtown shooting fades, so, too, will the prospects that pro-gun lawmakers will work with the White House to tighten restrictions.
I believe most Americans would disagree with the idea that in the wake of what happened in Newtown, Conn., that we should put off any action on the issue of gun violence, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Monday.
Biden's recommendations are likely to include proposals for legislation, as well as executive action Obama can sign into law without lawmakers' approval.
Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has one word about gun violence in America: Enough.
She and her husband – retired astronaut Mark Kelly – spoke to ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer for an interview aired Tuesday, on the second anniversary of the Tucson shooting rampage that killed six and wounded Giffords and 12 others.
The two also wrote in an op-ed published Tuesday in USA Today that they are launching an initiative aimed at curbing gun violence in the wake of the mass killing at a Connecticut school.
Segments of their interview were shown on Good Morning America.
Giffords and Kelly met Friday with the families of victims in the Newtown shooting.