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Biden: Va. Tech showed background checks needed

January 25, 2013 | National News

BY OLYMPIA MEOLA AND KARIN KAPSIDELIS | Richmond Times-Dispatch

Vice President Joe Biden on Friday brought the Obama administration’s push for tougher gun control in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy to the state that in 2007 saw the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Biden huddled privately for about two hours at Virginia Commonwealth University with academics, law enforcement officials and elected leaders, including Sen. Timothy M. Kaine, D-Va., who was governor when a student killed 32 other students, faculty and himself at Virginia Tech.

After the discussion, Biden noted that there have been 1,200 slayings since the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn. He said the panel talked about improved mental health access and universal background checks to keep weapons out of the hands of people who have lost their right to own a gun.

Most of the focus, he said, was on “what are the recommendations from these professionals about how we can detect earlier than later those folks who would have the propensity to engage in the kind of activity” that the nation saw in several mass shootings.

President Barack Obama’s administration is seeking public support outside Washington for gun control proposals that face stiff opposition on Capitol Hill.

After the Dec. 14 school shooting in Connecticut that left 20 children and six adults dead, the White House announced a plan to curb gun violence that includes proposals to require background checks for all gun sales, a new ban on assault weapons and a limit of 10 rounds on ammunition magazines.

Kaine called the session a significant discussion and an important one to take place in Richmond and Virginia. ...

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