Biden phoned Republican and Democratic governors Wednesday, including those from states where some high-profile mass shooting have occurred – Connecticut, Colorado and Arizona. Other members of the Obama administration met with Capitol Hill staffers Thursday morning.
The vice president did not mention proposals Thursday that addresses violent images or expanding mental health services, though they may be included in his final list of recommendations.
Michael J. Fitzpatrick, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, said he urged the Obama administration this week to develop early identification and intervention strategies and access to treatment and support at schools and communities
“The task force’s recommendation must include mental health care,” Fitzpatrick said. “No one solution can eliminate violence in America, but saving lives includes saving the lives of individuals and family members who struggle with mental illness every day.”
Obama already has called for Congress to ban assault weapons. Biden said his meetings had produced an “emerging set of recommendations:” They include:
– Creating a more complete universal background check system for all private gun sales.
– Easing restrictions on sharing information to allow agencies to conduct research on gun violence.
– Promoting gun safety by owners.
– Banning high-capacity magazines.
“There has got to be some common ground to not solve every problem but diminish the probability that what we have seen in these mass shootings will occur, and diminish the probability that our children are at risk in our schools, and diminish the probability that weapons will be used and firearms will be used in dealing with aberrant behavior that takes place in our society,” Biden said.
Lesley Clark contributed to this report.