Biden: "There Is a Moral Price for Inaction" on Guns

"We have an obligation to act," he said at a forum on gun violence Thursday

By Liz Dahlem and Staff
|  Thursday, Feb 21, 2013  |  Updated 3:06 PM EDT
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Biden: "There Is a Moral Price for Inaction" on Guns

AP

Vice President Joe Biden is addressing gun violence at a forum in Connecticut.

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Vice President Joe Biden urged tougher gun control laws at a conference on gun violence Thursday just miles from Newtown, Conn., still reeling from December's shooting massacre at an elementary school.

"There is a moral price for inaction," Biden said during an impassioned speech. "We can't remain silent. ... We have to speak for those 20 beautiful children."

The vice president pointed to the 1,900 people he said have died from gun violence since a 20-year-old gunman massacred 20 first-graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14.

Biden said that there will be a lot of voices in the debate on gun control, but the loudest voices will be for the people who lost their voice. 

"We have an obligation to act," he said.

Discussions at the forum Thursday have focused on expanding criminal background checks, requiring them for ammunition sales and getting high-capacity magazines — or, as one speaker described them, "war weapons" — off the streets.

There has also been discussion of changes in mental health services and initiatives.

The parents of Grace McDonnell, a 7-year-old girl killed in the Sandy Hook shooting, are also attending and received a standing ovation.

“We ask that our representatives remember 26 beautiful lives we lost and pass meaningful laws. I owe it to my daughter Grace,” Lynn McDonnell told audience members at the forum.

Biden said during his address that universal background checks are a necessity. He also called on limited high-capacity magazines

"It makes a difference," Biden said.

The vice president also said a federal gun trafficking law is needed, as well as more police on the streets.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy also made a big announcement about his own proposals at the forum.

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