Biden says gun proposals do not equate a 'slippery slope'
February 11th, 2013
03:39 PM ET
10 years ago

Biden says gun proposals do not equate a 'slippery slope'

(CNN) – Eight weeks after the Connecticut elementary school massacre, Vice President Joe Biden emphasized a pressing need to continue pushing for tighter gun laws–and tried to throw water on fears that new restrictions may impose on ownership rights.

"If we remain silent in the face of this tragedy, I think we're going to be judged really harshly," he said Monday. "I really mean that."

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The vice president held a roundtable meeting in Philadelphia with law enforcement officials and the mayor, Michal Nutter, to discuss gun violence in a city that had 331 homicides last year. In January of this year, 17 people died in gun-related deaths, and at least 71 victims were shot, according to the Gun Crisis Reporting Project.

"There is a sense of urgency for the United States of America, the federal government and local governments to act. There is no conflict-none, zero–of any of those things that were suggested here today with the Second Amendment," Biden said.

Biden vowed that he and the president would "continue to travel the country" to rally support for the gun proposals, among which include an assault weapons ban, a limit to high capacity magazines and universal background checks.

President Barack Obama is set to address the issue in his State of the Union address on Tuesday, as well as during a visit to Chicago on Friday.

And while an assault weapons ban similar to the one that expired in 2004 seems increasingly unlikely to pass through Congress, Biden still mentioned it as a proposal he'll take to the American people.

But opponents, including the National Rifle Association, argue that new firearm legislation will violate the rights of gun owners and make little to no strides in preventing gun violence.

Biden sought to quell those concerns Monday, saying the proposals he's calling for will not propel a series of increasingly tough gun laws.

"The slippery slope we're on are our children and our neighborhoods and our cities and our rural communities are in jeopardy," he said. "That's the slippery slope I'm worried about. It's not this notion that somehow we're going to end up taking away my two shotguns because of what we're doing here. That's bizarre."

The vice president said the group of local and law enforcement officials discussed a number of proposals dealing with gun violence, firearm trafficking and mental health.

Filed under: Joe Biden
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. ljabarr

    Biden's an idiot and Michael Nutter looks like Mr. Potato Head. So glade I moved out of Philly.

    February 11, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  2. sonny chapman

    Attention NRA: Where is the word CONFISCATION in any Gun Proposal ? There is none! They're pushing a Non-Existent Monster to scare reasonable people from having adult conversations re: life & death issues. How selfish !

    February 11, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  3. Larry L

    That statement will get the N.R.A. nuts to come out of their bunkers and post comments. I suspect they've got some sound-bites memorized just for this occasion.

    February 11, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  4. Courtney

    Biden is a fascist.

    February 11, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    Have no fear, Stockman (R-TX) is bringing Ted Nugent to the SOTU tomorrow night, so obviously this means the GOP/Teatrolls and NRA win and all gun stuff they don't like is now mooted and rendered irrelevant. Clearly, The Nooge is the very definition of a brave Amurikan....seeing as how he's not in jail or dead yet and it's been what, a month and a half since POTUS was elected. What about your promise Nooge? Can you not even keep a simple promise to commit a felony or suicide? A REAL man would.

    February 11, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  6. Moose

    Criminals with guns no doubt are bad. enough said, for the sake of America how about working on the economy ???

    February 11, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "Biden is a fascist."

    Define fascist please. Ready? GO....


    February 11, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    If we were talking about knives instead of guns, would we even be arguing over whether or not to give everyone bigger and stronger knives? Of course, not.

    February 11, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  9. Bob Forsberg

    Ask fugitive ex-LAPD-officer Christopher Dorner if any new laws would have curbed his gun violence.....or the basement dwelling video gamer freak who killed children at Newtown.

    New gun laws are knee-jerk reactions from headline grabbing politicians to want to appear relevent.

    February 11, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  10. manhandler1

    "Biden is a fascist"

    The problem is that YOU haven't the slightest idea what a fascist is. It's just something you Righties hear that you love to repeat.

    February 11, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  11. Lynda/Minnesota

    "But opponents, including the National Rifle Association, argue that new firearm legislation will violate the rights of gun owners and make little to no strides in preventing gun violence."

    Yeah. Whatever. I gave up listening to these bozo's weeks ago. Feel free to disagree, GOPers.

    February 11, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  12. JohnW

    "That's bizarre." Biden says some goofy things from time to time, but man, did he size up that argument perfectly in two words right there. The slippery slope argument has been tired for a long time. If the slippery slope argument had any basis in reality, then we should already see attempts in Colorado and Washington of people marrying their dogs.

    February 11, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    "New gun laws are knee-jerk reactions from headline grabbing politicians to want to appear relevent."

    So what does that make the NRA reducing membership fees by 70% the second they smelled a gun safety debate coming when polls after the Newtown shooting indicated America was finally outraged enough to start the conversation again? Hmmm?

    We'll wait right here for you to set up more targets...I mean provide your excuses..

    February 11, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  14. Carolyn

    How about we use the existing gun laws to relentlessly prosecute criminals who are committing crimes with guns?

    February 11, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  15. Republicans; the "Not Intended to be Factually Accurate" Party

    Let the Yahoos keep their gund; regulate/ban/ control / moniter the ammo

    February 11, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  16. George Chargas

    Lynda, please cite any study that shows new laws curb gun violence.. You can't, just lime all the politicians who want to simply try to get re-elected by "trying to make a difference".

    February 11, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  17. John

    Yeah – Its no slippery slope. Nothing like killing Americans in drone strikes without due process. What's next, drone strikes on people in the US who disagree with your agenda? Or even better how bout some crazed ex-cop liberal freak killing people..... Move along now, There's no slippery slope here....

    February 11, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  18. PaulG

    Confiscation, maybe not today but they have it in mind, they would if they could. Semi-auto rifle and magazine bans are not needed and likely won't happen. These guys need to enforce existing law to keep criminals and the mentally ill from getting firearms, and leave the rest of us alone to enjoy our civil liberties as they were guaranteed.

    February 11, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  19. Bill Gormley

    George Chargas – Maybe if there were studies to cite Lynda would be able to. My understanding is the NRA has used its influence to zero out any money for such research.

    February 11, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |