The new official portrait of Vice President Joe Biden in his West Wing Office at the White House, taken on Jan. 10
»Joe Biden sworn in moments ago. Effectively begins second term as Vice President of the United States.
One day after President Obama unveiled the administration’s plan to curb gun violence, Vice President Joe Biden today defended their intentions, answering critics who have spoken out against the plan for potentially infringing on the Second Amendment rights of Americans.
“The president and I support the Second Amendment,” Biden said definitively.
Biden, who’s led the task force on gun violence since the December shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, noted that he owns guns.
“I have two shotguns, a 20-gauge and a 12-gauge shotgun,” he said. Later in the speech he said his son Beau was a better shot than he is but that is because Beau is in the Army.
Biden spoke today before the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors’ meeting in Washington, D.C. Not everyone in the audience, Biden noted today, agrees with recommendations the White House put forward yesterday. But he defended the administration’s move to push this issue, at one point addressing the roomful of mayors as if he were speaking to them individually, saying that “murder rates in both of our towns are … well beyond … what’s remotely tolerable for a civilized circumstance.”
“We’re going to take this fight to the halls of Congress,” he said. “We’re going to take it beyond that. We’re going to take it to the American people. We’re going to go around the country making our case, and we’re going to let the voices, the voice, of the American people be heard. ”
Biden again noted that there will not be consensus across the nation, given cultural differences among the states. In many states, he added, hunting is “big deal.”
Igor Bobic | TPM
Prior to meeting with gun victims and safety groups on Wednesday, Vice President Joe Biden said that a White House commission on gun violence was weighing all available means to reform laws in the wake of the Newtown, Conn. mass shooting — including executive orders the President may issue in addition to legislative remedies already sought.
“The president is going to act,” Biden said. “Executive order, executive action that can be taken, we haven’t decided what that is yet. But we’re compiling it all with the help of the attorney general and all the rest of the cabinet members as well as legislative action, we believe, is required.”
Biden is scheduled to meet with gun owners and representatives of the National Rifle Association, the country’s powerful gun lobby, on Thursday. Mark Glaze, director of Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns, told TPM last week that Biden’s taskforce may present its recommendations to the President even earlier than expected.
Vice President Joe Biden reportedly took a hit at former Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) Thursday during a rooftop party for Rep. Patrick Murphy, who defeated West in the 2012 election.
“I’d like to say to all of you, you did the country a favor,” Biden told the crowd at Murphy’s party, according to TCPalm.