In an open letter released on Monday, Vice President Joe Biden touted the progress the Obama administration has made with respect to the 23 executive actions introduced to curb gun violence in the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
According to Biden, who spearheaded Obama’s gun-control task force, the administration has “completed or made significant progress” on all 23 executive actions which will “save lives” while “respecting our Second Amendment rights.”
“Those 23 executive actions are keeping guns out of dangerous hands,” Biden said. “They’re providing support for communities to hire school resource officers. And they’re reducing the stigma around mental illness.”
Though, in truth the list of objectives are a mixed bag, ranging from actions that can be empirically measured, such as the appointment of a full-time director to the ATF, B. Todd Jones was sworn in back in August, to nebulous goals such as “maximizing enforcement efforts.”
While Biden appears to be pleased with what they’ve accomplished thus far, he vowed to continue the fight. Specifically, he believes that an expanded background check bill that would require background checks for private transfers made via the Internet and at gun shows is a necessary undertaking moving forward.
“Now, it’s not enough to take these steps on our own — we still need Congress to pass comprehensive legislation to reduce gun violence,” Biden explained. “We need expanded background checks, and we need to create serious penalties for gun trafficking.”
“There is no question that these kinds of measures would protect our kids and keep our communities safer.” he added.
In April, the Senate rejected an expanded background check measure sponsored by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA). Biden as well as his Democratic cohorts in the House and Senate are hopeful that Congress will once again examine the issue and ultimately pass an expanded background check bill before the 2014 midterm elections.
In the meantime, Biden pledged that he and the President “are doing everything we can to make sure no parent loses their child to gun violence.”
“We’ve seen too much gun violence as a country,” said Biden. “And if there’s even one thing we can do to save a life, it is our most sacred duty to try.”