World


Biden to head panel on gun violence



Johannesburg:President Barack Obama on Wednesday will appoint Vice President Joe Biden to head a government panel to formulate a response to gun violence after last week's school massacre, US media reported.

The New York Times and the Washington Post cited White House officials as saying that Obama would formally name Biden to head the panel at a press conference later Wednesday morning.

The panel will explore possible new gun legislation to rein in the sale of assault rifles and high-capacity magazines, but will also look at mental health policies and violence in popular culture.

Obama vowed to take action against gun violence when he spoke at a memorial on Sunday for the 26 victims -- including 20 young children -- killed in the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

On Tuesday Obama backed a new bid to revive an assault weapons ban and other new gun laws, as traumatized US politicians wrestled with the aftermath of the worst in a series of mass shootings over the last two years.

The massacre shocked the country, and may have shifted the political debate on firearms in US society after years of gun lobby ascendancy.

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