Biden: U.S. 'obligation to act' on guns

Jan. 25, 2013 at 5:52 PM
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RICHMOND, Va., Jan. 25 (UPI) -- U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said Friday "we have an obligation to act, not wait," as he opened a campaign in support of proposals to reduce gun violence.

After meeting privately in Richmond, Va., with officials from Virginia Tech University -- the scene of a 2007 massacre in which 32 people were shot and killed -- Biden urged congressional passage of legislation requiring universal background checks for all gun sales, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"We cannot remain silent as a country," he said, noting that 1,200 people have been shot and killed in the United States since Dec. 14, when 20 children and six adult staff members were shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

"We have an obligation to act, not wait," Biden said.

"We're going to be doing a lot more of this," he said. "And with the help of our colleagues in the House and Senate, we're going to get something done that is going to improve the prospects of reducing gun violence."

Biden didn't mention an administration proposal to restrict military-style assault weapons, The Washington Post reported.

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., who was governor of Virginia at the time of the Virginia Tech massacre, attended the meeting with Biden Friday.

Biden said Kaine's response to the 2007 tragedy, a stronger background-check system for the state that included scrutiny of the mentally ill, should serve as a national model.

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