Former Vice President Joe Biden addressed Wilmington’s “epidemic of gun violence” during a speech at at the University of Delaware Monday.
Biden gave the speech during the public-private Vision Coalition’s 10th annual education conference at the University of Delaware, where several hundred people gathered to share ideas on how to improve public education and health care in the state, WHYY reported.
The former vice president said no child should have to grow up amid the violence that plagues some of Wilmington’s poorer communities and added that children affected by gun violence will continue to struggle in struggle in school and beyond.
“I think there are virtually no people, few people, who do not live in high crime zones and gun violence zones who have any idea of the cost to the system overall and health care costs and the long-term mental consequences,” Biden said.
“Imagine your child sitting on a porch and being exposed to people being shot dead in front of him by a 15-year-old kid. What do you think the impact would be?
“Oh you’d take him in and you’d hug him or her that night but I suspect you’d do a hell of a lot more. We’ve got o figure out how to find these children. We’ve got to be more proactive and more immediately reactive when these things happen.”
Biden also called on universities to conduct more studies related to gun violence and its effects and urged lawmakers to use those studies to implement common sense gun reforms, The News Journal reported.
“Public opinion still is impacted by thoughts and studies by great universities and material that is put out,” he said.
After noting that he supports the Second Amendment, Biden added: “We’ve always been able to limit who can purchase a weapon, just like who can buy an automobile.”
So far in 2017, at least 177 people have been shot and 27 killed in Delaware shootings, according to data gathered by Delaware Online.