Cumberland Times-News

Local News

January 25, 2013

Biden: Virginia Tech showed background checks needed

Roundtable meetings planned around country

RICHMOND, Va. — The 2007 Virginia Tech shooting illustrated the importance of strengthening background checks to ensure guns are not sold to people who cannot legally buy them, Vice President Joe Biden said Friday.

Biden spoke briefly to reporters after leading a two-hour roundtable discussion about what to do in the wake of the elementary school shooting last month in Newtown, Conn., that left 20 students and six adults dead. Also participating in the roundtable were Obama administration officials and a few people who served on a Virginia task force that made recommendations after the Tech shooting that left 32 dead — the largest mass shooting in U.S. history.

‘‘It’s a national trag-edy and a window into the vulnerability people feel about their safety and the safety of their children,’’ Biden said of Newtown.

Much of the focus of the discussion, Biden said, was on improving mental health services and making sure records of those declared ineligible to own a gun are transmitted to the national databank for background checks. The group also discussed gun safety and trafficking, he said.

The meeting was held at Virginia Commonwealth University, less than two miles from a state Capitol where lawmakers in recent days have rejected the same gun control measures advocated by President Barack Obama: universal background checks and bans on combat-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, who was governor at the time of the Tech shooting, was among the participants in the closed-door meeting.

‘‘We have the scar tissue of tragedy, but also reason to be hopeful,’’ he said, pointing to changes Virginia made after the Tech massacre to become a national leader in reporting ineligible gun buyers to the background check database.

Biden did not discuss banning assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. Kaine told report-ers later that he’s open to the idea but wants to ‘‘make sure the definitions are right’’ in whatever legislation Congress considers.

He was more definitive in supporting universal background checks. The law already specifies who cannot own a gun, he said, and background checks are the only way to enforce the law.

‘‘To be against background checks is to say you want people to have guns illegally,’’ Kaine said.

Biden said the administration is planning similar roundtable discussions around the country.

Text Only
Local News
  • Cemetery group’s efforts revive Oak Hill grounds Cemetery group’s efforts revive Oak Hill grounds

    After you drive Alexander and Furnace streets then navigate a couple of switchbacks on Cemetery Road, you’d figure there would be no more uphill.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Proposed county budget holds most agencies flat

    After taking into account an income tax shortfall, Allegany County Finance Director Jason Bennett said he’ll propose a budget that holds most outside agencies to flat funding and funds the Board of Education at what county officials say are maintenence of effort levels for 2015.

    April 17, 2014

  • RYAN WOLF Wolf named 2014-15 Garrett Teacher of the Year

    Southern Garrett High School teacher Ryan Wolf has been named the 2014-15 Garrett County Teacher of the Year.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rep. Delaney discusses congressional gridlock Rep. Delaney discusses congressional gridlock

    While giving a civics lesson at Frostburg State University on Thursday, U.S. Rep. John Delaney, congressman from Maryland’s sixth district, told students that the polarization in Congress is due primarily to redistricting and a poorly designed Congressional schedule.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fourmile Ridge wind project approved, moves forward

    The Federal Aviation Administration has approved the Fourmile Ridge wind project in eastern Garrett County and site preparation started April 7, according to Frank Maisano, a wind industry spokesman. The current notice listed on the FAA website for the project is for a small change in turbine location.

    April 17, 2014

  • Oakland back to normal after toppled tanker closes business district

    The town of Oakland returned to normal activities Thursday, one day after a tanker full of liquid propane overturned in the heart of the business district.
    Shortly after 8 p.m. Wednesday the toppled tanker was removed and its 10,000-gallon load transferred to another tanker.

    April 17, 2014

  • Students back Southern Middle School renovation

    Students from both Southern and Northern middle schools presented a list of reasons why Southern Middle needs to be renovated during the Garrett County Commission meeting Tuesday.

    April 17, 2014

  • Trial run Trial run

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 72nd anniversary of Doolittle Raid on Tokyo 72nd anniversary of Doolittle Raid on Tokyo

    Friday, April 18, has another special meaning for me besides Good Friday.
    April 18, 1942, proved to be a pivotal day for American morale, following the deadly air attack and destruction conceived and executed by Japanese Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lara Courrier seeks re-appointment to Mineral school board

    I, Lara Courrier, am seeking re-election to the Mineral County Board of Education to continue the work I’ve done the last four years. Having served as a school counselor at the Burlington Center School and the Chick Buckbee Juvenile Center for nearly six years, as well as approximately 20 years total working with children, I have insight into the needs of kids and the importance of the actions of the school board. Having three sons and several nieces and nephews in Mineral County schools, I have an added incentive to continue to work hard to ensure the efficient running of our school system. 

    April 17, 2014

Must Read
News related video