Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday that he views the administration’s efforts to reduce firearms violence as gun safety – not gun control.
The vice president fielded questions online in a Google+ Hangout, saying the proposals that he and President Barack Obama have laid out won’t end gun crime, but they still could make a difference.
Stemming gun violence has emerged as a priority for the Obama administration in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting in December. Mr. Obama already is moving ahead with 23 executive actions, and he’s called on Congress to pass legislation that would require background checks for all gun buyers, ban high-capacity magazines and ban some semiautomatic rifles often called assault weapons.
On Thursday, Mr. Biden faced questions about the efficacy of a ban on some semiautomatic rifles. The vice president noted that those weapons are involved in only a small fraction of gun deaths but said the restrictions make sense because police officers are outgunned on the streets by criminals with high-powered firearms. On Capitol Hill, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) and other Democrats unveiled legislation Thursday to ban certain types of semiautomatic weapons.