Vice President Joseph R. Biden said Friday the nation needs another high-profile, respected spokesman for gun control who is able to convince fearful members of Congress to buck the National Rifle Association and other organizations and vote for firearms restrictions.
Speaking at a Washington memorial service for the late James Brady — former White House press secretary who was wounded in the March 1981 assassination attempt against President Reagan — Mr. Biden said the fight to stop gun violence must never end.
“What we need is another Jim Brady, who has the skill and the ability to convince those who are afraid, who walk the halls of Congress, to step up and do what they know is right. One will come along. It will happen. I pray God it is sooner rather than later,” the vice president said.
Brady died Aug 4. Medical examiners ruled it a homicide, the direct result of the wounds he sustained in the 1981 assassination attempt.
Following that shooting, Brady went on to lead national campaign against gun violence. One of the most significant gun-control restrictions in recent history, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act or “Brady Bill,” bears his name.
The law requires federal background checks for gun buyers.
After a string of mass shootings in recent years, some lawmakers sought to expand the background checks system, but the effort failed amid stiff resistance from the NRA and other groups.
At Friday’s memorial service, Mr. Biden told Brady’s wife, Sarah, that there’s no one in Washington right now capable of building the kind of bipartisan coalition necessary to strengthen gun laws.
“Through a whole lot of painstaking effort and all of the frustration you felt, it was the ability — it’s the thing we’re missing right now in Washington — you were able to generate consensus,” he said.