On Thursday, the nation's biggest gun-rights organization will be represented at a meeting on gun violence with Vice President Joe Biden. The NRA's presence makes both sides look open-minded.
But even before the first session could begin – a closed-door meeting with representatives of gun-control groups and victims of gun violence – Mr. Biden demonstrated why the issue is so fraught. He suggested unilateral action by the White House, stoking long-held fears that Mr. Obama plans to do whatever he can to limit access to firearms and ammunition. Biden’s remark also caused a dip in the stock price of gunmakers and retailers, according to CNN.
"The president is going to act," Biden said to reporters before the meeting. "There are executive orders, there's executive action that can be taken. We haven't decided what that is yet.”
The Drudge Report website responded with this display: “White House threatens ‘executive order’ on guns.” Pictured above were two notorious dictators from the 20th century, Adolph Hitler and Josef Stalin.
The Biden-led task force is the president’s response to the Dec. 14 massacre in Newtown, Conn., which left 20 first-graders and six school staff dead. The lone gunman, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, had used weapons owned by his mother, whom he also murdered.
The mass shooting in Newtown put a range of issues on the table: access to weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, mental-health services, school safety, and law enforcement. The Biden effort’s goal is to think broadly across government agencies, consult stakeholders, then present recommendations to the president and Congress for quick action.