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President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with senior advisors in the Oval Office to discuss the shootings in Aurora, Colorado, July 20, 2012. Pictured, from left, are: Kathryn Ruemmler, Counsel to the President, and FBI Director Robert Mue
At 11:45 AM ET on Wednesday, President Barack Obama will announce the selection of Vice President Joe Biden to lead his administration's effort to develop a comprehensive policy for preventing mass shootings such as last Friday's massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.

Although the president won't announce his support for specific policy proposals, The New York Times' Peter Baker reports that aides have said he is interested in ideas such as banning assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips. He is also interested in examining proposals for strengthening the ability of the mental health and education systems to prevent mass violence.

Politico's Reid Epstein reports the president will emphasize the process for developing a proposal, a process that began in earnest yesterday with the president's involvement.

According to a White House official, the president likely won’t make significant policy announcements but will instead explain how his administration will determine what to do next.

Obama spoke Monday with Biden and three Cabinet secretaries – Attorney General Eric Holder, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius — “to begin looking at ways the country can respond to the tragedy in Newtown,” the White House said.

The president also spoke yesterday with West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, a pro-gun Democrat who has come out in favor of new gun restrictions in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting.
The White House said Tuesday that Mr. Obama spoke by phone with one staunch gun-rights supporter, Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.), who said that he and Mr. Obama "agree that as Americans and parents, all of our children belong to all of us—and we must work together to keep our precious children safe."

Mr. Manchin said he knows "my friends at the NRA [National Rifle Association] and those who support our Second Amendment rights will participate because I know that their hearts are aching for the families in Newtown, just like all Americans."

Biden was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee when the 1994 assault weapons ban was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:30 AM PST.

Also republished by Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

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