Facing gun violence - & realities

Posted: January 10, 2013

WASHINGTON - Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday vowed urgent action against gun violence in America, pledging steps by the Obama administration that he said could "take thousands of people out of harm's way" and improve the safety of millions more.

But a day ahead of a meeting with the National Rifle Association, which has sunk past gun-control efforts and is opposing any new ones, Biden signaled that the administration is mindful of political realities that could imperil sweeping gun-control legislation, and is willing to settle for something less. He said that the administration was considering its own executive action as well as measures by Congress, but he didn't offer specifics.

"I want to make it clear that we are not going to get caught up in the notion that unless we can do everything, we're going to do nothing," Biden told an array of gun-control advocates, crime victims and others at the White House. "It's critically important we act."

Shortly after last month's slaughter of schoolchildren at Newtown, Conn., President Obama directed Biden to head a commission to come up with recommendations on gun policy by the end of this month. Obama supports steps that include reinstating a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines and closing loopholes that allow many gun buyers to avoid background checks.

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