January 9th, 2013
12:03 PM ET
2 years ago

Biden: Gun effort a 'moral issue'

Washington (CNN) – Vice President Joe Biden described his gun control effort as a "moral issue" when meeting with gun safety advocates and mass shooting victims on Wednesday morning.

"When I think of all the tragedies that we have endured, I don't think anything has touched the heart of the American people so profoundly as seeing those and learning of those young children not only being shot but riddled with bullets," he said, referring to the December 14 shooting at the elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.

"Every once in a while there's something that awakens the conscience of the country, and that tragic event did it in a way like nothing I've seen in my career," he said.

The meeting was held by the task force President Barack Obama appointed to present recommendations by the end of this month. It included survivors of the Virginia Tech shooting, the stepfather of a victim of the Colorado movie shooting, as well as advocates from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.


Filed under: Gun rights • Joe Biden
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. el rob o

    Why isn't Biden having meetings on violent video games? Or on medications that cause enraged violence? Why is he coming after me?

    January 9, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  2. GuestAgain

    More hyperbole to drum up support for a solution that wont fix the problem.

    January 9, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  3. Rick McDaniel

    Untrue.

    It is an issue of the government disarming the people, which would allow a dictator to take over the country. We know which dictator that will be.

    January 9, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  4. Dave

    Wow! Look at the VP's wording. They truly are using this thing to the fullest. It't won't work people. You can't take away any part of the Bill of Rights. The 1st and 2nd amendments go hand in hand.

    January 9, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  5. sonny chapman

    The Second Amendment isn't the ONLY law of the Land. The Non-Assault Rifle/30 shot Pistol Clip Crowd(90% of the Nation) has RIGHTS too! The right to live w/out Fear of unstable folks from massacre with these killing machines must be BALANCED against the rights of the folks that feel that they just can't live w/out these instruments of death.

    January 9, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  6. reasonable restraints

    Fanatic gun rights folks are excellent at reduction-to-absurdity arguments. "Any law regulating guns means they are going to take away my guns!" Nothing of the sort is being considered. A reasonable regulation of lawful gun usage is what is being evaluated. Gun registration, background checks, restraining access to military-type automatic weapons designed to kill people rapidly and efficiently. But the NRA's supporters' response is akin to car owners objecting to lane markings, double yellow line laws, traffic signals at intersections as restricting their rights to an open road and freedom of travel. Reasonable governmental restraints can and should regulate dangerous behavior. Traffic flows amazingly well despite the restrictions of traffic laws. Gun and ammunition regulations should impose similar reasonable restrictions on an obviously dangerous right – to keep and bear arms. Reasonable people should see that a civilized society has a central concern to protect the safety of its citizens – whether they are driving their car, or fulfilling their 2nd amendment rights. No one it talking about taking away anyone's guns. That is a reduction-to-absurdity, and these types of claims are meant to deflate the entire rationale of governmental regulation of lawful, but dangerous, behavior.

    January 9, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "Why isn't Biden having meetings on violent video games?"

    Biden is meeting with leaders of the entertainment AND gaming industries this week to discuss violent media's potential connections to violent acts. Psych studies have yet to really produce anything that indicates it's a major contributor to the occurence of these incidents, but he's still meeting with them. Inform yourself, THEN speak.

    January 9, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  8. vic , nashville ,tn

    People live in fear clinch to their guns there is no medicine to man up those
    Gun control laws never bother many gun owners because they use their guns to sports and hunting and they don’t live in fear

    January 9, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  9. LIP

    Really Sniffit...no connection whatsoever to games of violence. A guy dresses up with body armor, carries in a multitude of weapons and numerous clips, but first throws in canisters to cover himself and booby traps his house, just like in a video game and there is no connection. Has anyone performed any investigation to see how many hours this guy and the child killer spent in front of Play Station or X Box and will we ever hear of it. The industry supposedly puts an "M" on the box for maturity and do you think that stops these immature or sick people from playing them...not. They just load themselves up until they are the game and act out a performance.

    January 9, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  10. ultralance12

    Watch Jon Stewarts clip on gun control from last night. It really does boil down to folks like the commenters here that think that the government is trying to take their guns away or the anarchists that think Obama will turn into Stalin and massacre the population if they aren't allowed an AR-15. The ability of the NRA to stoke those fears in order to sell guns is really pretty amazing.

    January 9, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    "More hyperbole to drum up support for a solution that wont fix the problem."

    Nothing he said was hyperbolic. The children in Newtown were literally riddled with bullets, not jsut shot once each.

    January 9, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    'el rob o' wrote:

    Why isn't Biden having meetings on violent video games?
    --------------
    Maybe because they play the same violet video games and watch the same violent video games in other English speaking countries, but they do not have nowhere near the level of gun violence that we have. Australia, New Zealand, and England come to mind. They each have strict gun laws.

    January 9, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  13. plain&simple

    I have a right to buy a gun, to possess what I chose. Anything that is legal that is. You can buy a Chevy or a Rolls Royce. You pay for it. Same with your guns and amo! Buy your bullets for semi automatic weapons with a 100% tax a 200% tax. No one is stopping you from squat! It's just the price you pay for your " protection" with that type weapon! It surely is worth it. Especially if that type weapon is so desirable for "protection"!!!Just saying put your money where your mouth is.... Then your taxes will help pay for all the armed guards you want to protect the schools. Hell $200.00 a bullet is cheaper than losing your "rights" or your life and is cheaper protection for your property than anything else out there!

    January 9, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  14. Jay

    Yes it IS a moral issue. Why? Because the US is not civilized. Period.

    January 9, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  15. Russell

    It is truly sad and disgusting the heartless politicians on both sides using these poor dead children as ammunitition for their own personal agendas. I have yet to hear one person argue to find out what actually happened in these massacres and find solutions to the failures that led to them. There is constant rhetoric ranging from banning all guns (impossible), to assault weapons ban (weren't used in most massacres, including CT), to mental health issues (unknown if that would have prevented many of these incidents) to more guns (oddly the only thing that has stopped any massacres in process). As a parent, I would call for the heads of these soulless fools trampling the memories of my children for personal gain.

    January 9, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  16. straitsight

    So is Joe and all of the corrupt politicians going to give up their armed gaurds? If they expect the citizens of this country to go around with no protection then they shouldn't have any either.

    January 9, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    "I have yet to hear one person argue to find out what actually happened in these massacres and find solutions to the failures that led to them. "

    Then you're clearly not paying attention, because not only do people scream that very thing constantly, but there are myriad studies out there that do just that.

    January 9, 2013 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  18. just sayin

    the joker out in colorado was imitating a movie character. the shooter in conn. was said to be an avid game player. no connection to violent media??? get real.

    January 9, 2013 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  19. The Real Tom Paine

    Rick McDaniel

    Untrue.

    It is an issue of the government disarming the people, which would allow a dictator to take over the country. We know which dictator that will be.
    ***********************************
    Right. And do you really think your AR-15 is really going to stop a tank? Do you really think your hunting rifle is going to stack up equally agains the 50-caliber sniper rifles our military has? The only dictatorship we should be afraid of is the dictatorship of the NRA, who tells us that we will be safe only if we do exactly what they say. Who do they answer to? The 2nd Amendment was never intended for that purpose, except in the feverish minds of people who never accepted the need for a strong central government to counteract the abuses of the states. The last time this country allowed the 2nd Amendment to be interpreted in the way you suggest, over 600,000 Americans killed each other.

    January 9, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    "Really Sniffit...no connection whatsoever to games of violence. A guy dresses up with body armor, carries in a multitude of weapons and numerous clips, but first throws in canisters to cover himself and booby traps his house, just like in a video game and there is no connection. Has anyone performed any investigation to see how many hours this guy and the child killer spent in front of Play Station or X Box and will we ever hear of it. The industry supposedly puts an "M" on the box for maturity and do you think that stops these immature or sick people from playing them...not. They just load themselves up until they are the game and act out a performance."

    First, there is no video game that does what you just described. Second, studies have not shown any causal relationship as you suggest exists. The failure here was not that a mentally ill person saw and idolized Batman or played Call of Duty. The failure is that said mentally ill person was able to waltz into gun stores, create a stockpile, buy over 6,000 rounds of ammunition in an extremely short period of time, none of it was monitored or registered, the background check clearly wasn't extensive enough, the policing of the armaments he was acquiring wasn't adequate, and, on top of it, the mental professionals who felt he was a potential danger were hamstrung by stringent laws and extensive procedures designed to protect patients' rights and privacy but which contain no exceptions for these types of situations once they become even remotely foreseeable. Just because you think something "makes sense" in your mind that there "simply must be a connection," doesn't mean that it exists. You can argue all you want that it's "ust common sense," but if scientific study cannot reproduce the causal or even correlational affect yuo claim exists, then guess what? It doesn't exist.

    January 9, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  21. Name lynn

    what can you joe b about the guns. S0 many people are getting their hands on these guns, an people are shooting an killing people how can you fix this joe b.

    January 9, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  22. rs

    Biden is correct. That is precisely why the NRA and their GOP shills will oppose any logical gun control- they are immoral.

    January 9, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  23. rs

    Rick McDaniel-
    Time for you to go into your back yard and play with your little plastic soldiers now.

    January 9, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC

    just sayin

    the joker out in colorado was imitating a movie character. the shooter in conn. was said to be an avid game player. no connection to violent media??? get real.
    ----------–
    You're probably right. But they watch the same movies in Australia, England, New Zealand, and Canada and they don't have nearly the gun violence as the US.

    January 9, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  25. rs

    plain&simple-
    You are confusing wants with needs.

    Society has the right to be safe from nuts with guns.

    January 9, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
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