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December 20, 2012

Biden convenes gun violence panel

Vice President Joe Biden convened the first meeting a working group to explore solutions to gun violence -- a day after President Obama called for its creation.

Among those in attendance: Thomas Nee, president of the National Association of Police Organizations, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, Attorney General Eric Holder, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Biden told the group that Obama was "absolutely committed to keeping his promise that we will act, and we will act in a way that is designed -- even if, as he says, we can only save one life, we have to take action."

Biden said he had a long working relationship with law enforcement leaders, some of whom helped him write the 1994 crime bill and develop initiatives like community policing.

"I want to hear your views because for anything to get done, we're going to need your advocacy," Biden said.

White House officials noted that in the "coming days and weeks," Biden is likely to hear from gun safety advocates and gun owners; mental health professionals and educators; faith and community leaders; local, state, and federal elected officials; "and any number of other people with valuable perspectives on the subject."


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"Planet Washington" covers politics and government. It is written by journalists in McClatchy's Washington Bureau.

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