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February 27, 2013

VP Biden calls Ilinois primary win a message to politicians, the NRA

Vice President Joe Biden hailed the Democratic primary victory Tuesday night of Robin Kelly, an Illinois state representative who supports anti-gun legislation, saying, "voters sent a clear, unequivocal signal."

He said Kelly embraced gun control and "voters sent a message last night, not just to the NRA, but to politicians around the country. There will be a moral price as well as a political price to be paid for inaction (on gun control)."

Biden's remarks came as he urged a gathering of state Attorneys General to help the administration get its measures before Congress for a vote.

Biden, who was introduced as "Beau's dad," -- a nod to his son, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden -- told the state officials that he believes the elementary school shooting in Newtown changed the dynamics of the gun debate.

"It was a senseless act that not only shocked the conscience, I believe it changed and galvanized the attitude of the American people," Biden said. "The public mood has changed. The excuse that it's too politically risky to act is no longer acceptable. We can not remain silent. We have to become the voices of those 20 beautiful children."

He noted that in the 75 days since Newtown, more than 2,000 people have died as a result of gun violence, including a young Kentucky woman who was shot in a college parking lot after a domestic dispute and a four year old Kansas City boy, "who was probably just learning how to tie his shoes."

Biden's remarks to the 2013 Winter-Spring Meeting of the National Association of Attorneys General came as the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on a proposed assault weapons ban authored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

The NRA signaled its disproval of the legislation with the creation of a Twitter hashtag "StopFeinstein," and tweeting commentary including "In the hour that @SenFeinstein has been holding her hearing aimed at banning AR-15s, Americans have bought 150 more #StopFeinstein."


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

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