Vice President Joe Biden covered all the bases in this speech at at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury. He laid out the Obama administration's proposals, and he did so in a clear, passionate way:
"We do know this: These things, if we do them, will make life better, safer, and significantly fewer people will fall victim as your kids did in Newtown. Fewer children will die. Fewer futures will be stamped out.
"So folks, we have to act, even if we save the life of only one child, as the president says. I have no doubt that if we take the steps proposed, we'll save many more lives.
"And here's the critical point: Without infringing on ANYone's-- ANYone's-- constitutional right under the Second Amendment, without infringing on ANYone's constitutional right.
"And ladies and gentlemen, this time around, if you look at the polling data, the vast majority of the American people are with us. They know. They know we have to act. And they're prepared. It's time."
I livetweeted the speech. Here are some more quotes and the proposals he made; please ignore the Twitter shorthand, and (obviously) watch the video for more. The first quote is from Education Secretary Arne Duncan:
"IF I grow up, I want to be a fireman." Quote from a young boy by Arne Duncan. "IF"!!
The rest are from Biden:
It's unacceptable NOT to take a political risk... re: gun violence
If you're concerned about your political survival, you should be concerned about the lives of our children... Be concerned about your political survival if you DON'T act...
There's plenty of ways to protect and recreate (as in recreation) w/o AR 15. It IS about guns!
We need UNIVERSAL background checks.. every single weapon sold. Make sure states have all the records of felons, fugitives, mentally incapable of owning gun.
We can improve safety if we LIMIT high capacity magazines. No reason for 100 round drum like Aurora shooter carried.
We need an assault weapons ban. When it expired, criminal use of assault weapons went UP.
Re: Straw purchasers... Federal guns trafficking law would help that.
MORE law enforcement officers on the street would reduce violence. Fund law enforcement in name of public health.
INCREASE serious research on gun violence... No records on gun violence studies allowed. NRA doesn't want us to study these issues. That would include hard studies on violent video games. Why be afraid of facts?
Make our schools safer, giving communities the option of having school resource officers. Not a rent a cop... a "sworn shield." Students would get to know and trust officer. Fund school resource officers. If a community wants a psychologist or counselor, then use that $ for those. The answer isn't to arm our teacher. It's to ARM OUR TEACHERS W/ INFORMATION.
Make mental health services available, especially to young people.Proposal: Train more than 5000 mental health pros to serve schools, communities. Insurance companies don't provide for mental health services. We're working to change that. We need serious national discussion. Dodd is asking entertainment industry to do PSA's re: mental health. Our military has figured out, "if you're frightened, tell me." If they can figure it out, others need to. Do away with stigma.