Biden supports background check bill, unveils new grant to fight domestic violence
March 13th, 2013
12:27 PM ET
2 years ago

Biden supports background check bill, unveils new grant to fight domestic violence

(CNN) – Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday voiced support for background check legislation approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this week, drawing a connection between domestic abuse and gun violence when he unveiled a new federal grant that could help combat both issues.

"They both require urgent action. That's why the president and I believe that every person who buys a gun, every person should have a criminal background check," Biden said, speaking to a group at the award event in Rockville, Maryland. He appeared on stage with "Law & Order: SVU" star Mariska Hargitay and Attorney General Eric Holder.

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday approved a bill that would expand background checks for all firearm sales. The bill now goes to the full Senate for a vote.

The vice president added that in the last three years, 40% of all shootings with four or more victims started with the murderer targeting a girlfriend, an ex-wife or a wife. The number of women shot to death by an intimate partner, he added, is 38% lower in states that require background checks for handguns.

"This is the most tragic of all crimes," Biden said, referring to domestic violence.

"No man has a right to raise a woman, his hand to a woman for any reason at all," he later added. "For any reason at all other than self-defense, there is never, never, never a justification. No matter what she's wearing or not wearing, no matter where she is, no matter what she said, period. There's no right."

Biden helped author the 1994 Violence Against Women Act, which Congress reauthorized last month and the president signed last week. The new program is designed to help law enforcement officers better identify potential abusers and victims.

"We've learned a lot over the last 20 years and what we've learned most is if we look hard enough, we can identify behavioral patterns most likely to result in something like the taking of a life," he said.

The Justice Department will grant a total of $2.3 million to 12 sites across the country, as part of the new Domestic Violence Homicide Prevention Demonstration Initiative. The program is modeled after initiatives in Massachusetts and Maryland.

In his speech, Biden cited some of "tell-tale" signs that researchers have learned can lead to homicide. Among them, he said, include sexual assault, attempts to strangle the victim, and threats to shoot the victim.

"These are the guys, this is the category from which you're most likely to get those folks who will take out a gun the next time and blow their brains out, who will strangle to death the next time," he said.

The grants are also designed to teach emergency personnel how to respond more quickly to signs of abuse and ask specific questions about the nature of the suspected violence.

"What we learned from the very beginning is there's a very narrow window, a very narrow window for most women to have the courage and the capacity to say exactly what happened to them and if you don't catch it then, she may be gone," he said. "She may be gone right back into the arms of her abuser."


Filed under: Gun control • Gun rights • Joe Biden
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    Mr. Vice-Presdient. Keep up the bully pulpit work. It's working. You can tell by how much the right wing is squirming over the gun control issue. I'd suggest that you make both the 2013 and 2014 election cycles a referendum on the NRA.

    March 13, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  2. Ind.

    Democrats are clearly anti-2nd amendment.

    Heck they're clearly anti Bill of Rights.

    March 13, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  3. Guy

    'He appeared on stage with "Law & Order: SVU" star Mariska Hargitay and Attorney General Eric Holder."

    Did Holder mention the firefight a couple of days ago in Reynosa, Mexico between rival drug cartels? Local TV stations in that area are reporting up to THREE DOZEN people may have been killed. It could be that some of Holder's Fast and Furious guns have resurfaced....again.

    March 13, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Guy wrote:

    Did Holder mention the firefight a couple of days ago in Reynosa, Mexico between rival drug cartels? Local TV stations in that area are reporting up to THREE DOZEN people may have been killed. It could be that some of Holder's Fast and Furious guns have resurfaced....again.
    ---------------
    Go read up on Arizona gun laws. You are required by law to sign a form attesting that you weaopns purchase is for you own personal use. It contains a loophole that allows you to sell the gun, or to have flexibility in giving it as a gift. In other words, they didn't want to force folks wear it in their caskets to their graves.

    That same loophole makes straw purchases legal, because the law sets no time limit on long after the purchase you are required to keep the weapons in your possession for your personal use. In other words, you can walk into a store, purchase 50 rifles, and then sell them to a guy waiting in the parking lot. Agents watching all of this transpire can no more follow the parking lot purchaser than a cop could follow you driving home from a tavern at closing time. the whole "Fast and Furious" right wing movement is a bunch of jabberwocky, designed to enthrall the easily fooled.

    March 13, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  5. Ind.

    Democrats trying yet again to change history.
    ------
    I'd feel sorry for democrats if they weren't so stupid" ~JG

    March 13, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  6. cgt

    Where do you NOT have to have a background check done in order to buy a gun, any gun? If a gun is bought legally, you MUST have a background check done in NC.

    March 13, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  7. Guy

    @Rudy NYC

    Go and try to purchase multiple firearms in a single transaction in an American state that borders Mexico and see how quickly you draw the attention of the Federal government.

    Holder should have resigned because of Fast and Furious. The weapons he let slip across the border have killed at least one American DEA agent and who knows how many Mexicans. One thing is for sure, Holder's Fast and Furious guns have killed people. None of the firearms that I own has ever been used to hurt a person.

    March 13, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  8. Middle O' the Road

    He appeared on stage with "Law & Order: SVU" star Mariska Hargitay and Attorney General Eric Holder.

    WhoopDeeDoo.

    "Hi. I'm Mariska Hargitay. I'm not a cop but I play one on TV".

    March 13, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Guy wrote:

    @Rudy NYC

    Go and try to purchase multiple firearms in a single transaction in an American state that borders Mexico and see how quickly you draw the attention of the Federal government.
    --------------
    We're talking about Arizona, guy. No doubt buying mulitple firearms would attract federal attention, if for no better reason than the dollar amount of the transaction. Unfortunately, the Arizona unintentionally allows for straw purchases. Holder shut the program down when he found out about it.

    Why didn't Republicans want to ask any questions about how the program even got started during the congressional hearings and investigations over it? I'm not going to argue with you about it. Even the actual elected officials have dropped it because they know it is a losing, pointless argument to make, because the trail leads straight back to the Bush admnistration.

    March 13, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  10. President Obama For Sale: $500,000 or Best Offer (CASH preferred)

    Why isn't Crazy Joe proposing legislation requiring all women to carry shot guns, or better yet handguns? That would curb violence against women. Oh yeah, Democrats sthink women can't handle guns.

    March 13, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |