President Barack Obama willÂ announce on Wednesday that Vice President Joe Biden will lead anÂ effort to come up with policies to address gun violence amidÂ calls for action following theÂ massacre of 26 people includingÂ 20 children in a Connecticut elementary school last week.
The president is not expected to announce policy decisionsÂ but rather lay out the process by which his administration willÂ move forward, White House aides said.
Obama has turned to Biden in the past to take a role inÂ high-profile policy initiatives, such as efforts to seek aÂ deficit-reduction compromise with congressional Republicans inÂ 2011.
Biden’s mission – to coordinate a process among governmentÂ agencies to formulate policies in the wake of the NewtownÂ shootings – comes just days after an event that appears to haveÂ generated a national outcry for greater efforts to stem gunÂ violence.
The Connecticut massacre was the fourth shooting rampage toÂ claim multiple lives in the United States this year. The president issued a call to action at a memorial serviceÂ in Newtown on Sunday, demanding changes to the way the UnitedÂ States deals with gun violence. Obama said that in coming weeksÂ he would “use whatever power this office” holds to start effortsÂ to preventing further such tragedies.
However, gun control has been a low priority for most U.S.Â politicians due to the widespread popularity of guns in AmericaÂ and the clout of the National Rifle Association, the powerfulÂ gun industry lobby.
The constitutional right to bear arms is seen by manyÂ Americans as set in stone, and even after mass shootings,Â politicians have tiptoed around specific steps to limit accessÂ to lethal weapons.
Even so, the horror of the Newtown killings, in which aÂ 20-year-old man killed 6- and 7-year-old children and theirÂ teachers in their classrooms before taking his own life, hasÂ provoked an apparent change of heart in some politicians whoÂ have previously opposed gun control.
One such lawmaker is Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of WestÂ Virginia. The gun rights advocate said he would now be open toÂ more regulation of military-style rifles like the one used inÂ Newtown. Obama spoke with him on Tuesday, the White House said. The White House spelled out some gun control measures onÂ Tuesday that Obama would support.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama would back U.S.Â Senator Dianne Feinstein’s effort to reinstate an assaultÂ weapons ban. The president also would favor any law to close aÂ loophole related to gun-show sales, he said.
Efforts to limit high-capacity gun ammunition clips would beÂ another area of interest, Carney said.
Source: Huffington Post