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President Barack Obama this afternoon confirmed that Vice President Joe  Biden will lead a panel to combat gun violence in the aftermath of Friday’s mass shooting in Newtown, Conn. He wants a proposals no later than January.

President Obama said, “The fact that this problem is complex can no longer be an excuse for doing  nothing. The fact that we can’t prevent every  act of violence doesn’t mean we can’t steadily reduce the violence and prevent  the very worst violence.”

The President continued, “There’s already a growing consensus for us to build from. A  majority of Americans support banning the sale of military-style assault weapons. A majority of Americans support banning the sale of high-capacity  ammunition clips. A majority of American support laws requires background checks  before all gun purchases. The new Congress should vote on all these  measures and prioritize confirming a new leader for the Bureau of Alcohol,  Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives”.

When reminded by ABC’s Jake Tapper that Newtown wasn’t the first mass shooting to take place during his presidency, he asked President Obama, “Where have you been?”

The President replied, “Here’s where I’ve been … I’ve been president of the United States dealing with the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, an auto industry on the verge of collapse, two wars. I don’t think I’ve been on vacation. I think all of us have to do some reflection on how we prioritize  what we do here in Washington. This should be a wake-up call for all of us” that there’s more to be done to  keep the country safe”.

“If we work harder to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, there  would be fewer atrocities like the one in Newtown, or any of the lesser known  tragedies that visit small towns and big cities all across America every day. Each  one of these Americans was a victim of the everyday gun violence that takes the  lives of more than 10,000 Americans every year, violence that we cannot accept  as routine.”

Reaction from gun-control advocates to the president’s announcement was positive.