(WASHINGTON) — Vice President Joe Biden asked representatives of victims’ groups and gun-safety organizations for their input Wednesday as he works to develop ideas to prevent future events like last month’s deadly shooting in Newtown, Conn.
“We’re here today to deal with a problem that requires our immediate action, urgent action. And the president and I are determined to take action,” Biden told reporters before a meeting in his ceremonial office in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. “I want to make it clear that we are not going to get caught up in the notion, unless we can do everything, we’re going to do nothing.”
After the massacre that took 26 lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School, President Obama vowed to take meaningful action and asked Biden to lead a task force to come up with ideas to prevent future gun violence.
“Every once in a while, there’s something that awakens the conscience of the country, and that tragic event did in a way like nothing I’ve seen in my career,” Biden said Wednesday.
The vice president is holding a series of meetings with various stakeholders this week to gather information. His task force must report their recommendations by the end of this month.
“This is not an exercise in photo opportunities or just getting to ask you all what your opinions are. We are … vitally interested in what you have to say,” he said.
The vice president made clear that the White House will act, with or without Congress. “There are executive orders, executive action that can be taken. We haven’t decided what that is yet, but we’re compiling it all with the help the attorney general and all the rest of the cabinet members, as well as legislative action, we believe, is required,” he said.
Biden will meet with gun-ownership groups at the White House Thursday, including the National Rifle Association. He is also speaking with representatives of the entertainment and video game industries this week.
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