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

Grimm choice: Tax fraud trial could dog NY…

Rep. Michael Grimm may be splitting his time between the campaign trail and a courtroom where he is due to face tax evasion charges.

Local

Met Opera, unions extend talks for 72 hours,…

Met Opera agreed to extend negotiations with its labor unions for 72 hours, preventing a threatened lockout, the organization said late Thursday.

Local

MAP: New York City street closures August 2…

Summer Streets, the NYC Triathlon, the Ecuadorian Parade and festivals will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend.

Local

Winning $7 million New York lottery ticket sold…

The only $7 million winning New York Lottery ticket for Monday's Cash4Life drawing was sold at a Queens 7-Eleven, officials said on Tuesday.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on 'Calvary' and his very…

Brendan Gleeson discusses how "Calvary" began over drinks and how his priest character is the opposite of the officer he played in "The Guard."

Movies

Interview: Chris O'Dowd does funny and serious in…

Chris O'Dowd talks about "Calvary," an Irish comedy-drama about a priest (Brendan Gleeson) under fire.

Movies

'Alive Inside' and 'Code Black' are documentaries with…

Two new documentaries — "Alive Inside" and "Code Black" — portray different issues but suffer from the same problem.

Music

Caught a Ghost catches a soul/rap vibe

Jesse Nolan says Caught a Ghost's sound aims for two things everybody likes: soul music and '90s rap.

MLB

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade…

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade deadline

College

Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

Career

What do you wear to a career fair?…

Getting that gig starts with presenting the most polished and memorable version of yourself, so refer to our expert fashion advice.

Style

Editors pick: Margiela's finger armor ring

These cool rings from Maison Martin Margiela are designed to overlap over the finger, covering each joint like armor.

Style

Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.

Wellbeing

Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…