Biden to head gun policy push after Newtown shootings

Vice President Joe Biden.

Vice President Joe Biden will lead an effort to craft policies to reduce gun violence in a plan President Barack Obama was to lay out Wednesday amid calls for action after the massacre of 26 people including 20 children in a Connecticut elementary school.

Obama was not expected to unveil policy decisions but outline how his administration will proceed, White House aides said. The move could signal that he will make the issue a second-term priority and add momentum to a national debate over tighter gun control laws.

Obama has turned to Biden in the past to take a role in high-profile initiatives, including efforts on a deficit-reduction compromise with congressional Republicans in 2011. The vice president will join Obama for the announcement in the White House briefing room at 11:45 a.m. EST (1645 GMT).

Biden’s mission – to coordinate a strategy among government agencies in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut shootings – comes days after the mass murder that has generated a national outcry for greater efforts to stem gun violence.

Friday’s massacre was the fourth shooting rampage to claim multiple lives in the United States this year.

The president demanded changes to the way the United States deals with gun violence at a memorial service in Newtown on Sunday. Obama said he would “use whatever power this office” holds to prevent such tragedies in the future.

Gun control has been a low priority for most U.S. politicians due to the widespread popularity of guns in America and the clout of the National Rifle Association, the powerful gun industry lobby.

The constitutional right to bear arms is seen by many Americans as set in stone, and even after mass shootings, politicians have tiptoed around specific steps to limit access to lethal weapons.

Even so, the horror of the Newtown killings, in which a 20-year-old man killed 6- and 7-year-old children and their teachers in their classrooms before taking his own life, has provoked an apparent change of heart in some politicians.

Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a longtime gun rights advocate, said he is now open to more regulation of military-style rifles like the one used in Newtown. Obama spoke with him on Tuesday, the White House said.

The White House spelled out some gun control measures on Tuesday that Obama would support.

Spokesman Jay Carney said Obama would back U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein’s effort to reinstate an assault weapons ban. The president also would favor any law to close a loophole related to gun-show sales, he said.

Efforts to limit high-capacity gun ammunition clips would be another option, Carney said.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

DA: Homeless man severely beat by men in…

Two former college football players pleaded not guilty to the alleged severe beating of a homeless man in Allston earlier this year.

National

Hamas, Abbas's PLO announce reconciliation agreement

The Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed on Wednesday to a unity pact.

Local

Reports: Dead man pulled from water at Boston's…

A dead man was reportedly pulled from the water at Boston's Long Wharf Wednesday afternoon, according to the Boston Fire Department.

Local

Primark to make US debut in Boston

Dublin retailer Primark will make its U.S. debut with a store at the former Filene's site in Boston.

Going Out

Thursty: Revamped Audubon is back in action

Having been a long time fan of Trina's Starlite Lounge in Inman Square, one of my only complaints about the place is that there's only…

Entertainment

Here's what to do in Boston this weekend

MUSIC Huun Huur Tu Friday, 8 p.m. First Church in Cambridge 11 Garden St., Cambridge $28, 617-876-4275 www.worldmusic.org This group comes from the tiny nation…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

The Word

The best lines from Oprah's ex-stepmother's Daily Mail…

Oprah’s ex-stepmother, Barbara Winfrey, is out for revenge.

MLB

Fantasy baseball: Searching for early season prospects

It’s relatively rare for a mediocre 30-year-old hitter to suddenly go nuts offensively for 162 games. That’s why minor league prospects are so exciting.

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC 'targeting' US international Mix Diskerud

Metro New York has learned Mix Diskerud has drawn “interest” from the expansion MLS side, NYCFC.

MLB

Statistics show plate approach for Red Sox has…

Statistics show plate approach for Red Sox has been off so far in 2014

MLB

MLB video highlights: Yankees rout Red Sox, 9-3

Jon Lester allows eight runs in 4 2/3 innings taking loss

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."