President Barack Obama pledged his administration will draft “concrete proposals” by the end of next month to help stem gun violence in the U.S. and endorsed restrictions on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips.
“This time, the words need to lead to action,” Obama said at the White House, where he announced that he’s putting Vice President Joe Biden in charge of developing a response to the mass shooting at a Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school that killed 20 children and six adults. “The fact that this problem is complex, can no longer be an excuse for doing nothing.”
Obama said there is a growing consensus in the country for restricting military-style weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips, and urged Congress to hold votes on such measures early next year. He said that the administration’s review will include firearms regulation as well as mental health and cultural issues.
The president’s new focus on gun violence in the wake of the Dec. 14 shooting highlighted the pressure the White House is under to quickly craft a response to the tragedy. The event has prompted calls for stricter gun control from Democratic lawmakers and gun-control advocates, as representatives of firearms owners argued that limiting weapons won’t provide a solution to violence.