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Obama announces gun control task force headed by VP Biden


15:59, December 20, 2012

U.S. President Barack Obama (R), with Vice President Joe Biden at his side, speaks to the media at the White House briefing room in Washington D.C. on Dec. 19, 2012. Obama on Wednesday announced a gun control task force led by Vice President Joe Biden. (Xinhua/Fang Zhe)

WASHINGTON, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday announced a gun control task force led by Vice President Joe Biden. The inter-agency task force is charged with guiding the administration's continuing response to calls of gun control after the Newtown, Connecticut, massacre.

Obama made the announcement at the White House briefing room with Biden standing at his side. He said although conversation about stopping future shooting incidents has to continue, "words need to lead to action."

"The fact this problem is complex can no longer be excuse" for delaying action, said Obama, reiterating his pledge that he would "use all the powers of this office to help advance efforts aimed at preventing more tragedies like this."

Noting no single law or set of laws can prevent more gun violence, Obama stressed the importance of taking a holistic approach on the problem, including education and care for mental issues.

Obama promised the task force would make proposals for new laws and actions in January, and he would push the new gun control proposals in Congress.

"This is not some Washington commission" that will take six months and be shelved, Obama said of the effort to be spearheaded by Biden, a longtime gun control advocate who had spent decades in Congress.

In the first steps the administration takes after the Newtown tragedy, Biden will work with cabinet members and outside groups to formulate the recommendations, as the president called on Congress to reinstate an assault weapons ban that expired in 2004 and to pass legislation that would close the gun show loophole, which allows people to purchase firearms without a background check.

A gunman stormed Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtwon Friday, killing 20 kids and 6 adults, after killing his own mother at her residence. He committed suicide after the horrific shooting rampage.

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