Washington: Days after the heinous act of Connecticut school shooting shook America, President Barack Obama on Wednesday asserted that the time had come to turn words into “action” and said that concrete proposals for tightening gun control would be sent to Congress not later than January.
Vice President Joe Biden has been tasked with heading a committee that will come up with "concrete proposals" to curb gun violence.
"I've asked the vice president to lead an effort that includes members of my Cabinet and outside organizations to come up with a set of concrete proposals no later than January that I then intend to push without delay," Obama said.
Earlier, Obama also supported a US senator’s idea of reinstating a ban on assault weapons and called for closing loopholes in gun sales and restricting high-capacity ammunition clips.
"A majority of Americans support banning the sale of military-style assault weapons. A majority of Americans support banning the sale of high-capacity ammunition clips. A majority of Americans support laws requiring background checks before all gun purchases so that criminals can't take advantage of legal loopholes to buy a gun from somebody who won't take the responsibility of doing a background check at all," he said.
Friday shooting at Sandy Hook school resulted in death of 20 school kids and 6 adults. Adam Lanza, 20, first killed his mother and went on a shooting spree in the school, ending his own life as well.
The heart-wrenching event has reignited the old debate over gun control in the US.
Gun control measures have faced fierce resistance in Congress for years but that may be changing now because of last week's violence. Since then, Obama has signaled for the first time in his presidency that he's willing to spend political capital on the issue and some prominent gun-rights advocates on Capitol Hill — Democrats and Republicans alike — have expressed willingness to consider new measures.
Obama said he is also betting that the vast majority, of responsible, law-abiding gun owners would be some of the first to say that the country should be able to keep an irresponsible, law- breaking few from buying a weapon of war.
Obama's January deadline underscores the desire among White House officials to respond swiftly to the Newtown shooting. Obama aides worry that as the shock of the shooting fades, so, too, will the prospects that pro-gun lawmakers will work with the White House to tighten restrictions.
The president has called for a national dialogue on gun violence before, after other mass shootings during his presidency. But his rhetoric has not been backed up with concrete action. And some of the gun measures Obama has signed lessened restrictions on guns, allowing people to carry concealed weapons.
With Agency Inputs
First Published: Thursday, December 20, 2012, 09:44