Biden on GOP: ‘We’re not the enemy’
Biden on Republicans: ‘You’re not’ the enemy.
The former vice president said the Republican party “is not the party of big government.”
Biden was speaking in a phone call with reporters Thursday to discuss how he would address the issue of gun violence.
He also said he does not want to see a “national tragedy” like the Newtown shooting.
Biden was asked about the political and public health crises created by the Newtown massacre, which left 20 children and six adults dead, during the phone call.
Biden told reporters he thinks it’s “a good time” to address gun violence, even though it’s been more than two weeks since the shooting.
“I think it’s important to talk about that, and we’re not a party that wants to do that, but we’re also not the adversary,” Biden said.
“We’re an institution that has the capacity to do something about that.”
Biden, who was elected in 2016 and will become the fifth U.S. president in four years, has repeatedly said he wants to “rebalance” America’s gun policy.
His call with the House Judiciary Committee came days after his first speech as president.
Biden said the nation has made “a lot of progress” in reducing gun violence and the country is now “well on its way” toward a “greater acceptance” of gun ownership.
He said he and other top officials are working to increase mental health and gun violence research.
He praised President Donald Trump and the administration for “doing a terrific job” in addressing gun violence that he said “has devastated the lives of so many of our fellow Americans.”
“We need to do more than talk about the facts and try to make it more acceptable to shoot somebody in the head,” Biden told the House lawmakers.
Biden also addressed the issue Friday of how the gun debate is going to be dealt with in the Senate, which is expected to take up a bill on gun control on Monday.
Biden called the Senate’s version of the measure “not going to happen.”
The Democratic-controlled Senate on Tuesday passed the measure, but the Republican-controlled House has yet to take a vote.
Democrats have argued that the bill is too broad and would infringe on the Second Amendment, which guarantees the right to keep and bear arms.
“They want to take guns away from people who can defend themselves,” Biden continued.
“If you are a gun owner, you are going to take your guns away.”
Biden said he has spoken with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and they all want to do the right thing and pass a bill that “comes from the heart and not from the gut.”
Biden called it a “moral obligation” for the United States to lead on gun violence prevention.
Biden, however, said the United State’s failure to act on gun safety issues has led to a “disastrous” national debate on the issue.
“It’s time for us to put aside the rhetoric, put aside this partisan, knee-jerk, kneejerk fear-mongering and get back to the facts,” Biden added.
“The truth is that the Second, Fifth and Sixth Amendments are just as applicable to us as they are to them.”