(CNN) — President Barack Obama said Wednesday that the National Rifle Association, which leads the pro-gun lobby in the United States, “has members who are mothers and fathers” likely impacted by the Connecticut school shooting that killed 20 young children.
The nation will have a set of recommendations to address widespread gun violence within weeks, President Obama announced Wednesday.
Vice President Joe Obama will lead an inter-agency group to come up with “concrete proposals no later than January — proposals that I then intend to push without delay,” the president said.
Speaking five days after a gunman killed 27 people, including 20 children, at a Connecticut elementary school, Obama said that “if there is even one thing that we can do” to prevent such tragedies, “we have a deep obligation, all of us, to try.”
“This is not some Washington commission. This is not something where folks are going to be studying the issue for six months and publishing a report that gets read and then pushed aside. This is a team that has a very specific task to pull together real reforms right now.”
No single law or set of laws can prevent gun violence, the president said.
But the complexity of the issue “can no longer be an excuse for doing nothing,” he said.
The “complex” issue demands action on gun laws and work in making “access to mental health care at least as easy as access to a gun,” he said.
The country also needs to tackle a “culture that all to often glorifies guns and violence,” he said.
“And any actions that we must take must begin inside the home and inside our hearts.”
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, has said she will introduce legislation to reinstate the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday that the president supports that effort.
Obama also wants to close “the so-called gun show loophole which allows people to buy weapons without going through the background checks that are standard when you purchase ” them retail, Carney said.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder echoed those remarks Wednesday. “There’s a range of things we need to do,” he said, adding that any one measure would not be adequate.
The proposals necessary will involve people who “aren’t always thought of in the law enforcmeent sphere,” including the departments of Education and Health and Human Services, he said.
Newtown United, a newly formed group in the stricken town, scheduled an open meeting for Wednesday evening to discuss what it calls “sensible gun legislation.”