Earlier this afternoon, Vice President Joe Biden attended a gun violence conference a few miles from the location of last year’s infamous Newtown school shooting massacre. And Mr. Biden, who has led the White House’s push for stricter policies on guns in the shooting’s wake, passionately argued that gun control is no longer the untouchable “third rail” in our political system. Indeed, Mr. Biden took his contention in the opposite direction and said politicians are now compelled to engage the issue.
“Our understanding assumption is–in American politics today–[is] that this is kind of a third rail of politics,” Mr. Biden declared. “That if you take this on, somehow there will be a severe political price to pay for doing it because that’s what happened in the past. That’s what happened in the past. People say–and you read, and people write about–the political risk and why they’re unacceptable to take on. I say it’s unacceptable to not take these on. It’s simply unacceptable.”
Mr. Biden took his case further and told his former congressional colleagues that, in addition to the “political price,” there is a “moral price” for those failing to act on gun violence.
“I say to my colleagues who will watch this and listen to this, I say to you, ‘If you’re concerned about your political survival you should be concerned about the survival of our children,’” he said. “And guess what? I believe the price to be paid politically will be to those who refuse to act, who refuse to step forward. Because America’s changed on this issue. You should know that the American people are with us, you should know! You all should know, there’s a moral price to be paid for inaction.”