Obama Vows Gun Violence Proposals by January
US President Barack Obama has vowed to push "without delay" a set of proposals that will be due by January in the wake of Connecticut shooting rampage last week.
Speaking at a news conference five days after the massacre that left 27 people dead, Obama said Wednesday that a new group led by Vice President Joe Biden is charged with developing "concrete proposals" for dealing with gun violence "no later than January."
The group will include some cabinet members and outside organizations.
"This is not some Washington commission. This is not something where folks are going to be studying the issue for six months and publishing a report that gets read and then pushed aside," Obama said. "This is a team that has a very specific task to pull together real reforms right now."
No single law or set of laws can prevent gun violence, Obama said Wednesday, but the complexity of the issue "can no longer be an excuse for doing nothing."
Authorities must work to make "access to mental health care at least as easy as access to a gun," and the country needs to tackle a "culture that all too often glorifies guns and violence," he said.
Obama called for quick action from Congress.
"A majority of Americans support banning the sale of military-style assault weapons. A majority of Americans support banning the sale of high-capacity ammunition clips. A majority of Americans support laws requiring background checks before all gun purchases so that criminals can't take advantage of legal loopholes to buy a gun from somebody who won't take the responsibility of doing a background check at all," he said.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, has said she will introduce legislation to reinstate the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004. White House spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday that the president supports that effort.
Obama said Wednesday he believes the Second Amendment does guarantee individuals the right to bear arms.
"This country has a strong tradition of gun ownership that's been handed down from generation to generation."