Vice President Joe Biden has called tougher gun control laws on Thursday at a conference on gun violence just miles from Newtown, Connecticut, the town still reeling from the horrific shooting massacre at an elementary school there in December.
'There is a moral price for inaction,' Biden said during an impassioned speech. 'We can't remain silent… We have to speak for those twenty beautiful children.'
According to NBC the vice president told the conference that 1,900 Americans have died from gun violence since a 20-year-old with a set of high powered rifles massacred twenty first-grade children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14.
Biden said he anticipated that a lot of loud voices would be raised in the debate on gun control, but he promised the loudest voices will be for the people who lost their voice. 'We have an obligation to act,' he added.
Discussions at the forum, which some parents of the children who had been shot dead attended, focused on expanding criminal background checks, including requiring them for ammunition sales and access to high-capacity magazines. Many attendees believed that assault weapons, or as one speaker at the conference described them, war weapons — ought to be taken off the streets.
Also under discussion at the conference were recommended changes in mental health services and initiatives.
The devastated parents of little Grace McDonnell, a 7-year-old killed in the Sandy Hook shooting, reportedly attended 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 the limited sale of high-capacity magazines. 'It makes a difference,' Biden said. The vice president added that he believed a federal gun trafficking law is needed, as well as more police on the streets.