US President Barack Obama announced on Wednesday that he is taking on the issue of gun violence in America by immediately forming a task force led by Vice President Joe Biden to develop comprehensive proposals in the wake of Friday’s shooting massacre at an elementary school.
“This is a team that has a very specific task to pull together real reforms right now,” Obama said during a White House press conference. “I will use all the powers of this office to help advance efforts aimed at preventing more tragedies like this,” Obama said.
Obama’s announcement for immediate gun control reforms comes after a 20-year-old man killed 20 children and six adults with a semi-automatic rifle at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut. He also killed his mother at her home and killed himself.
The President asked that Congress push legislation immediately and asked to reinstate an assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004. He also called for a limit on the sale of limited high-capacity ammunition clips and for strict background checks on individuals purchasing guns.
Obama said that “no law or set of laws can prevent every senseless act of violence in our society,” and that the government needs to “look more closely at a country that often glorifies guns and violence” in video games.
He also asked for the help of every American since “any actions we take must take place in the home and our hearts.”
“I can’t do it by myself, ultimately if this succeeds it will take the help of the American people, it will take all of you,” Obama said.
“It will take a wave of Americans…gun owners standing up and saying enough is enough on behalf of our kids,” said Obama. “It will take commitment and compromise and most of all courage.”
Obama said the proposals would not be just about guns. “We are going to need to work on making access to mental health care at least as easy as access to guns,” he said.
Biden, who has years of experience in the Senate and has worked on prior gun control legislation, will lead the team that will consist of members of Obama’s cabinet and outside organizations that will come up with “concrete proposals that I intend to push without delay,” Obama said.
The team has until the end of January to have suggestions for gun reforms “and as soon as we get recommendations, I will set forth very specific proposals” and “work with members of Congress to get something done,” Obama said.