“This should be a wake-up call for all of us” that there’s more to be done to keep the country safe.
“If we work harder to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, there would be fewer atrocities like the one in Newtown, or any of the lesser known tragedies that visit small towns and big cities all across America every day,” he said, listing several fatal shootings that have happened since Friday. “Each one of these Americans was a victim of the everyday gun violence that takes the lives of more than 10,000 Americans every year, violence that we cannot accept as routine.”
But as Obama pledged to take action to combat violence, he toed a narrow line, reaffirming his belief that the Second Amendment “guarantees an individual a right to bear arms” and that the country has “a strong tradition of gun ownership.”
Attorney General Eric Holder, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will work on the effort, a White House official said. Outside groups will be consulted, but the official would not specify which groups will be involved.
Reaction from gun-control advocates to the president’s announcement was positive.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he spoke to Biden earlier Wednesday and offered “my full support for his efforts.”