Biden: "Executive action can be taken" on gun control

We already knew this was coming, but that doesn’t make it any more welcome. Speaking at his meeting with “gun safety” advocates (talk about re-branding!) on Wednesday, Vice President Biden reiterated that the president can and will take executive action on what he deems to be good gun-control ideas after his task force’s oh-so-measured and inclusive talks with gun interests across the political spectrum.

“The president is going go act,” said Biden, who is conducting meetings all week on gun control. “There are executive orders, executive action that can be taken. We haven’t decided what that is yet, but we’re compiling it all.”

“I want to make clear that we’re not going to get caught up in the notion that, unless we can do everything, we’re going to do nothing,” Biden said. “It’s critically important we act.”

He added that there is “pretty wide consensus on three or four or five things in the gun safety area that could and should be done.”

CBS has more specifics on what some of these enhanced gun-control recommendations, meant to be submitted to the president before the end of the month, might look like:

The president indicated that he wants the task force to submit recommendations by the end of January. He also wants Congress to reestablish the ban on assault weapons, which expired in 2004; limit the size of magazines; and expand background checks, including closing the gun show loophole, which allows unlicensed sellers to sidestep checks. The task force is also expected to look at broader efforts that might include a national database of gun owners and proposals that can be implemented without congressional approval.

After the task force meeting, Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign, said there seems to be consensus among a diverse group of organizations in support of background checks for gun purchasers. He noted that only 40 percent of gun owners have received background checks.

Gross attempted to ease fears of gun advocates that the current debate is not about the Second Amendment or taking away guns from legal gun owners. He said the meetings and the task force is about “staking out that middle ground that so clearly exists.”

Funny how all of these “middle ground that so clearly exists”-ideas seem to confirm gun control, ahem, I’m sorry, “gun safety” advocates’ preexisting notions of fewer guns and more bureaucracy as the only solutions for stopping violence. The White House might be putting on a good show by meeting with the NRA and others tomorrow, but I severely doubt that one of the few ideas that has actually been proven to help stop violence is going to get any real consideration:

MR. CARNEY:  Well, I think as the President said, he doesn’t want to prejudge any recommendations that any stakeholder might present.  He did in his “Meet the Press” interview respond to a question about the specific recommendation that the NRA had made by saying that he was skeptical that putting more guns in schools would solve this problem.  But again, we look forward to hearing from a variety of organizations and civic groups and others who have insights into this problem.