After meeting with the National Rifle Association and other stakeholders on the issue of gun violence, Vice President Joe Biden today suggested that there's a growing consensus with respect to how to rein in the problem. The NRA, however, came out of today's White House meeting with a much more pessimistic response.
The group charged that Biden's task force on gun violence is pushing an agenda to "attack the Second Amendment."
"We were disappointed with how little this meeting had to do with keeping our children safe and how much it had to do with an agenda to attack the Second Amendment," the NRA said in a statement. "While claiming that no policy proposals would be 'prejudged,' this Task Force spent most of its time on proposed restrictions on lawful firearms owners - honest, taxpaying, hardworking Americans. It is unfortunate that this Administration continues to insist on pushing failed solutions to our nation's most pressing problems."
The NRA was one of several groups to meet with Biden and other administration officials today. Biden, the author of the original Assault Weapons Ban, was tapped by President Obama to lead a task force aimed at developing actionable solutions to gun violence in America in the aftermath of the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut last month.
In between today's meetings, Bidenhe plans to give Mr. Obama, including universal background checks, restrictions on high-capacity magazines, and increased federal capabilities for effectively researching gun violence. Biden also stressed ongoing discussions about the importance of including the mental health community in the conversation.
"There's an emerging set of recommendations, not coming from me, but coming from the groups we've met with, and I'm gonna focus on the ones that relate primarily to gun ownership, what types of weapons can be owned," Biden said.
The NRA in its statement said it was prepared to have a "meaningful conversation about school safety, mental health issues, the marketing of violence to our kids and the collapse of federal prosecutions of violent criminals."
Instead of letting "law-abiding gun owners to be blamed for the acts of criminals and madmen," the group said it will now take the conversation to members of Congress, of both parties, "who are interested in having an honest conversation about what works -- and what does not."