Biden Gun Violence Meetings: NRA Criticism Draws No Comment
(WASHINGTON) -- Vice President Joe Biden described his meeting with the National Rifle Association Thursday as “productive” and said that even advocates for gun owners do not agree on one single solution to minimizing gun violence
“I thought we had a very straightforward, productive meeting,” Biden told reporters at the beginning of his meeting with representatives from the video game industry Friday.
Asked what he thought about the NRA’s stinging statement after the meeting yesterday, Biden only said, “I don’t have any comment on what anybody said about the meetings.”
Shortly after Thursday’s meeting, the NRA blasted Biden, saying the administration is not trying to produce legitimate ideas about how to curb gun violence and instead went after the Second Amendment.
“We were disappointed with how little this meeting had to do with keeping our children safe and how much it had to do with an agenda to attack the Second Amendment,” the NRA said Thursday. “While claiming that no policy proposals would be ‘prejudged,’ this task force spent most of its time on proposed restrictions on lawful firearms owners — honest, taxpaying, hardworking Americans.”
“It is unfortunate that this Administration continues to insist on pushing failed solutions to our nation’s most pressing problems,” the NRA said. “We will not allow law-abiding gun owners to be blamed for the acts of criminals and madmen. Instead, we will now take our commitment and meaningful contributions to members of Congress of both parties who are interested in having an honest conversation about what works — and what does not.”
The vice president tried to draw a distinction between the NRA and other gun ownership groups he met with this week, saying, “There is actually difference among them as well. It’s not a uniform view.”
Biden, who was joined by Attorney General Eric Holder and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, met Friday with representatives from the video game industry, including members of Electronic Arts, the Entertainment Software Ratings Board, and Activision Blizzard, Inc., the makers of the highly popular Call of Duty games.
In the weeks after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., the video game industry was criticized for promoting violent video games, but Biden assured the group that he was keeping an open mind.
“I come to this meeting with no judgment. You all know the judgments other people have made,” Biden said.
“There’s no silver bullet, there’s no, as one of my friends said, no seat belt that you can put on to assure that you will not be in this circumstance again,” he said. “I want you to know you have not been, quote, singled out for help, but we’ve asked a whole lot of people.”
The vice president made no reference to an assault weapons ban, a topic which has not come up in the public portion of his meetings this week, raising questions about the administration’s intent to pursue such a ban.
Biden said he’s still “shooting for Tuesday” as his deadline to submit recommendations to the president.
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