A president intent on pressing Congress to restrict access to high-powered guns could hardly find a more seasoned figure to take charge of the effort than Vice President Joe Biden, says the New York Times. Biden, who owns two shotguns, brings decades of experience and plenty of scar tissue from past battles with the National Rifle Association to frame recommendations that President Obama wants ready in January. “He's basically been doing this for a little over 30 years,” said former Senator Ted Kaufman (D-DE), a longtime Biden adviser who was appointed to fill out his term. “I really do believe there isn't anybody in America who has a better chance of getting this done by Jan. 15 than he does, not just because of his background in guns but because he's not politically intimidated by the NRA, to put it mildly.”
As far as the NRA is concerned, Biden is an ideologue whose mind is already made up about the “conversation” he is now supposed to lead. “This is somebody who's bombastic and really does think that anybody who disagrees with him is not only wrong but crazy,” said NRA president David Keene. After Obama assigned him to develop a response, Biden followed his 1990s script, inviting law enforcement leaders to the White House to harness their ideas and public credibility. “I've been in Washington over 20 years, and this was unique,” said Chuck Wexler of the Police Executive Research Forum. “There is a sense of importance and urgency to this issue.” Yesterday, Obama told “Meet the Press” that the Newtown, Ct., school shootings made Dec. 14 the worst day of his presidency. The president said he was skeptical of the NRA suggestion of putting more armed guards in schools.