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Biden huddles with Senate Dems on guns

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Vice President Joseph R. Biden huddled Thursday with Democratic senators on Capitol Hill to talk about the administration’s gun-control proposals, telling reporters afterward that there’s a “sea change” in the attitudes of Americans on the issue in the wake of last month’s school shootings in Connecticut.

Mr. Biden is touting and promoting President Obama’s gun-control package, which includes a ban on so-called assault weapons. After the shooting deaths of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. last month, Mr. Obama tapped Mr. Biden to craft recommendations on how to try to curb gun violence in the country.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, has pledged that legislation dealing with gun violence will reach the Senate floor, but he has not yet specified exactly what it will include.

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee spent much of the time during a hearing Wednesday emphasizing the necessity of universal background checks for gun buyers, a proposal in Mr. Obama’s package that may be more politically feasible than passing a ban on semiautomatic, military-style weapons or high-capacity ammunition magazines.

Mr. Biden said there is nothing they can do to completely eliminate the possibility of a future attack.

“But there are things that we can do, demonstrably can do, that have virtually zero impact on your Second Amendment right to own a weapon for both self defense and recreation, [but] that can save some lives,” he said.

Mr. Biden said Sandy Hook has changed the political calculus on the issue, and that the American people will not understand if no gun laws are passed.

“The visual image of those 20 innocent children being riddled with bullets has absolutely not only traumatized the nation but … it is the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Mr. Biden said.

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