Vice President Joe Biden will be in charge of a new White House initiative to curb gun violence and create new gun laws following the massacre in Newtown, Conn., last week.
President Barack Obama is expected to announce Biden as his choice to lead a new gun panel on Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal reported.
"No politician could be better suited to the challenge of passing federal gun control legislation than Biden," said Rebecca Buckwalter-Poza, who served as deputy national press secretary of the 2008 Democratic National Committee, according to CNN. "Over the past four decades, Biden has been one of the most consistent and effective advocates of gun control and violence prevention legislation. In 1994, Biden shepherded the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act through the Senate, a near miracle six years in the making."
Obama has made it clear that America needs to start making important changes after the school shootings in Newtown, although he has not laid out any concrete gun policies as of yet.
On Friday, Dec. 14, 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot dead his mother, Nancy Lanza, at their home in Newtown, before driving to Sandy Hook Elementary School and murdering 20 children, the school's principal, a psychologist and four teachers before turning the gun on himself. An investigation is currently analyzing the case, trying to determine the factors that led up to the shooting. Some sources have suggested that Lanza was suffering from various mental illnesses, but what is known for certain is that the guns he used in the shootings were all owned legally by his mother.
The tragedy has stunned America and has some citizens calling for stricter gun control laws, while others have expressed disagreement with suggestions that guns are the issue in cases like this. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., announced on Friday that she will try to re-introduce the ban on sales of more than 100 types of assault weapons in America, and Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a top National Rifle Association (NRA) member, suggested that it was time to start cracking down on assault weapons sales.
Many other Americans don't share that sentiment, however, and a number of gun stores and associations around the country have revealed experiencing record sales in the days following the shootings, especially for the type of AR-15 assault weapon used by Lanza.
"In the coming weeks, I will use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens – from law enforcement to mental health professionals to parents and educators – in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this," Obama said on Sunday while consoling families in Newtown.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney clarified following Obama's remarks that the president might consider limits on high-capacity magazines and would tighten measures against unlicensed gun dealers. Carney added that Obama would support a ban on assault weapons.
"Biden must once more appeal to Congress to enact gun control. If anyone can succeed in those chambers, it's Joe Biden," Buckwalter-Poza concluded – although how many changes Congress is willing to consider while still upholding the Second Amendment remains to be seen.