WASHINGTON – U.S. President Barack Obama plans to announce this week some “sensible” initiatives to curb gun violence that will include unilateral actions by the chief executive as well as legislation that Congress would have to approve.
The president reviewed Monday the recommendations that Vice President Joe Biden submitted after gathering opinions on the issue for almost a month.
“I expect to have a fuller presentation later in the week to give people some specifics about what I think we need to do,” Obama said at the final press conference of his first term.
“(T)he vice president is going to provide a range of steps that we can take to reduce gun violence,” the president said. “Some of them will require legislation. Some of them I can accomplish through executive action.”
“And where you get a step that has the opportunity to reduce the possibility of gun violence, then I want to go ahead and take it,” Obama said exactly one month after 20 children and six adults were fatally shot at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.
Obama appointed Biden to work up his recommendations, with the aid of a task force, following the Newtown massacre.
Biden met Monday behind closed doors with leaders of Congress to learn their positions on the issue.
There is resistance in Congress, especially among Republicans, to the idea of new gun control legislation.
“(M)embers of Congress I think are going to have to have a debate and examine their own conscience – because if, in fact – and I believe this is true – everybody across party lines was as deeply moved and saddened as I was by what happened in Newtown, then we’re going to have to vote based on what we think is best,” Obama said. EFE