US President Barack Obama on Wednesday created a task force that will tackle steps against gun violence and named Vice President Joe Biden to lead the efforts prompted by the mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school, DPA reported.
"The fact that this problem is complex can no longer be an excuse for doing nothing," Obama said. "The fact that we can't prevent every act of violence doesn't mean that we can't steadily reduce the violence and prevent the very worst violence."
Since the killings, Obama has vowed action, but so far stopped short of detailing specific policies.
He said Biden would be tasked with bringing together concrete recommendations by January and asked Congress to vote on its eventual proposals quickly. "This is a team that has a very specific task to pull together real reforms right now," Obama said.
The president stressed that he respected US constitutional guarantees to an individual's right to bear arms, but said there was plenty of room between doing nothing and restricting all guns.
He said he believed there was a national consensus for action even among gun owners.
"What we're looking for here is a thoughtful approach that says we can preserve our Second Amendment, we can make sure that responsible gun owners are able to carry out their activities, but that we're going to actually be serious about the safety side of this, that we're going to be serious about making sure that something like Newtown or Aurora doesn't happen again," he said.
The president read off a list of acts of gun violence that have occurred just in the few days since Friday, when an apparently deranged gunman slayed 20 children aged 6 and 7 and six adults in a school in Newtown, Connecticut, and his own mother before the rampage. He said this string of events has led to a national debate on US gun laws and mental health care.
"If those of us who were sent here to serve the public trust can summon even one tiny iota of the courage those teachers, that principal in Newtown summoned on Friday, if cooperation and common sense prevail, then I'm convinced we can make a sensible, intelligent way to make the United States of America a safer, stronger place for our children to learn and to grow," Obama said.