Obama Sets January Deadline for Gun Proposals - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Obama Sets January Deadline for Gun Proposals

Posted: Updated:
President Barack Obama stands with Vice President Joe Biden as he makes a statement Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, at the White House, about policies he will pursue following the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Ct. (Photo: AP) President Barack Obama stands with Vice President Joe Biden as he makes a statement Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, at the White House, about policies he will pursue following the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Ct. (Photo: AP)

WASHINGTON (AP)— Spurred by a horrific elementary school shooting, President Barack Obama vowed to send Congress new policy proposals for reducing gun violence by January.

"This time, the words need to lead to action," Obama said Wednesday. He tasked Vice President Joe Biden with leading an administration-wide effort to create the new recommendations and pledged to push for their implementation without delay.

The president, who exerted little political capital on gun control despite a series of mass shootings in his first term, bristled at suggestions that he had been silent on the issue during his first four years in office. But he acknowledged that Friday's deadly shooting had been "a wake-up call for all of us."

Twenty children and six adults were killed when a man carrying a military-style rifle stormed Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., Friday morning.

The president also called on Congress Wednesday to reinstate an assault weapons ban that expired in 2004 and to pass legislation that would close the gun show "loophole," which allows people to purchase firearms from private dealers without a background check. Obama also said he wanted Congress to pursue the possibility of limiting high-capacity ammunition clips.

"The fact that this problem is complex can no longer be an excuse for doing nothing," Obama said. "The fact that we can't prevent every act of violence doesn't mean we can't steadily reduce the violence."

The president's announcement Wednesday underscores the urgency the White House sees in formulating a response to the Newtown shooting. The massacre has prompted several congressional gun rights supporters to consider new legislation to control firearms, and there is some concern that their willingness to engage could fade as the shock and sorrow over the Newtown shooting eases.

Obama said it was "encouraging" to see people of different backgrounds and political affiliations coming to an understanding that the country has an obligation to prevent such violence.

Appealing to gun owners, Obama said he believes in the Second Amendment and the country's strong tradition of gun ownership. And he said "the vast majority of gun owners in America are responsible."

"I am also betting that the majority, the vast majority, of responsible law-abiding gun owners would be some of the first to say that we should be able to keep an irresponsible, law-breaking few from buying a weapon of war," Obama said.

Obama also tasked the Biden-led team with considering ways to improve mental health resources and address ways to create a culture that doesn't promote violence. The departments of Justice, Education, Health and Human Services, and Homeland Security, along with outside groups and lawmakers, will all be part of the process.

Biden's prominent role in the process could be an asset for the White House in getting gun legislation through Congress. The vice president spent decades in the Senate and has been called on by Obama before to use his long-standing relationships with lawmakers to build support for White House measures.

The president challenged the National Rifle Association, the country's most powerful gun lobby and key backer of many Republican politicians, to join the broader effort to reduce gun violence as well.

"Hopefully they'll do some self-reflection," Obama said of the NRA.

The NRA made its first comments since the shooting on Tuesday, promising to offer "meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again."

Obama said that while taking the necessary steps to reduce gun violence would take commitment and compromise, he said it could be achieved if Washington summons "even one tiny iota of the courage of those teachers, that principal in Newtown summoned on Friday."

  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Bethany Streetscape Project Won't Make Summer Deadline

    Bethany Streetscape Project Won't Make Summer Deadline

    Friday, April 18 2014 11:32 PM EDT2014-04-19 03:32:04 GMT
    The Bethany Beach Streetscape Project to reconstruct Garfield Parkway will go on hiatus from mid-may to October 14th, 2014.More
    The Bethany Beach Streetscape Project to reconstruct Garfield Parkway will go on hiatus from mid-may to October 14th, 2014.More
  • Economist Examines Maryland Minimum Wage Bill

    Economist Examines Maryland Minimum Wage Bill

    Saturday, April 19 2014 5:37 AM EDT2014-04-19 09:37:18 GMT
    In a plan approved by the legislature, full-time minimum-wage workers in Maryland will ultimately make about $875 less annually than they would have under the governor's proposed timetable, an economic analyst said. More
    In a plan approved by the legislature, full-time minimum-wage workers in Maryland will ultimately make about $875 less annually than they would have under the governor's proposed timetable, an economic analyst said. More
  • Thousands Flock to Delaware Kite Festival

    Thousands Flock to Delaware Kite Festival

    Saturday, April 19 2014 5:33 AM EDT2014-04-19 09:33:34 GMT
    Hundreds of kites filled the air above the Cape Henlopen State Park for the 46th annual Delaware Kite Festival. Despite some chilly winds, the Lewes Chamber of Commerce said that more than 3,000 people came for the event. More
    Hundreds of kites filled the air above the Cape Henlopen State Park for the 46th annual Delaware Kite Festival. Despite some chilly winds, the Lewes Chamber of Commerce said that more than 3,000 people came for the event. More
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Delmarva Chicken Festival to End in 2014

    Delmarva Chicken Festival to End in 2014

    Friday, April 18 2014 3:52 PM EDT2014-04-18 19:52:53 GMT
    The Delmarva Chicken Festival is making its last run this year after 65 years on the Delmarva Peninsula.More
    The Delmarva Chicken Festival is making its last run this year after 65 years on the Delmarva Peninsula.More
  • Pastor Carries Cross from Georgetown to Rehoboth Beach

    Pastor Carries Cross from Georgetown to Rehoboth Beach

    Friday, April 18 2014 11:22 PM EDT2014-04-19 03:22:29 GMT
    GEORGETOWN, Del.- About 16 miles separates Georgetown from Rehoboth Beach. That may not sound like a long distance. But picture doing it by foot."We're carrying a cross all the way from the circle in Georgetown on route 9 all the way to Rehoboth," said Pastor Joel Hitchcock of River City Church. Pastor Hitchcock alongside others spent Good Friday carrying a cross. His logic behind it all was simple."The reason for carrying this cross is to remind people of the main reason for Easter."When we ...More
    GEORGETOWN, Del.- About 16 miles separates Georgetown from Rehoboth Beach. That may not sound like a long distance. But picture doing it by foot."We're carrying a cross all the way from the circle in Georgetown on route 9 all the way to Rehoboth," said Pastor Joel Hitchcock of River City Church. Pastor Hitchcock alongside others spent Good Friday carrying a cross. His logic behind it all was simple."The reason for carrying this cross is to remind people of the main reason for Easter."When we ...More
  • Police Investigate Serious Crash North of Laurel

    Police Investigate Serious Crash North of Laurel

    Friday, April 18 2014 8:16 AM EDT2014-04-18 12:16:32 GMT
    The Delaware State Police are currently investigating a serious motor vehicle crash that occurred late Thursday night north of Laurel.More
    The Delaware State Police are currently investigating a serious motor vehicle crash that occurred late Thursday night north of Laurel.More
Powered by WorldNow

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service