Obama sets January deadline for gun proposals - New York News

Obama sets Jan. deadline for gun proposals, taps Biden to lead

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

In the wake of last week's shootings in Newtown, President Obama named Vice President Joe Biden the head of a special commission to tackle the problem of gun violence in the U.S.

"The fact that we can't prevent every act of violence doesn't mean we can't steadily reduce the violence. And prevent the very worst violence," President Obama said.

The president called Friday's Newtown massacre a wake-up call Wednesday. He also predicted that most law-abiding gun-owners would accept a ban on assault weapons. The new commission is supposed to produce a list of policy reforms by January. The president bristled when a reporter suggested he'd been missing on the issue of gun control.

"Well, here's where I've been Jake," President Obama responded when a reporter asked him where he has been. "I've been President of the United States dealing with the worst economic crisis since the great depression. An auto industry on the verge of collapse. Two wars. I don't think I've been on vacation."

The president said there also has to be improved access to mental health care, and a look at the glorification of gun violence.

"If cooperation and common sense prevail, I'm convinced we can make a sensible intelligent way to make the United States of America a stronger place for our children to grow," President Obama said.

In Chicago, gun control advocates believe the commission will produce more than just another lengthy report for the bookshelves.

"We're certainly optimistic," said Mark Walsh of the Illinois Council against Handgun Violence. "The national emotions and agenda are that we need to do something quick to stop these tragedies from happening."

The Vice President's commission will get help from the Departments of Justice, Education, Health and Human Services and Homeland Security. Outside groups and legislators will also be providing their input.

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