President Barack Obama will  announce on Wednesday that Vice President Joe Biden will lead an  effort to come up with policies to address gun violence amid  calls for action following the  massacre of 26 people including  20 children in a Connecticut elementary school last week.

The president is not expected to announce policy decisions  but rather lay out the process by which his administration will  move forward, White House aides said.

Obama has turned to Biden in the past to take a role in  high-profile policy initiatives, such as efforts to seek a  deficit-reduction compromise with congressional Republicans in  2011.

Biden’s mission – to coordinate a process among government  agencies to formulate policies in the wake of the Newtown  shootings – comes just days after an event that appears to have  generated a national outcry for greater efforts to stem gun  violence.

The Connecticut massacre was the fourth shooting rampage to  claim multiple lives in the United States this year. The president issued a call to action at a memorial service  in Newtown on Sunday, demanding changes to the way the United  States deals with gun violence. Obama said that in coming weeks  he would “use whatever power this office” holds to start efforts  to preventing further such tragedies.

However, 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 who  have previously opposed gun control.

One such lawmaker is Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West  Virginia. The gun rights advocate said he would now be 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.

White House 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 area of interest, Carney said.

Source: Huffington Post


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