WASHINGTON -- A day before a planned meeting with gun control opponents, Vice President Joe Biden visited those affected by recent mass shootings, including the families of Sandy Hook Elementary massacre victims.
"I don't think anything has touched the heart of the American people so profoundly as seeing those, learning of those young children not only being shot but riddled with bullets," Biden said.
Dan Gross, president of The Brady Campaign and a gun control advocate, agreed.
"We have to have a broader discussion of this issue and discuss what we can do to prevent the 10,000 murders that happen every year; the 30,000 gun deaths every year," Gross said.
President Obama has tasked Biden with crafting gun control proposals by the end of January for both Congress and the White House to consider.
Biden promised the White House would take action, even without Congress's say so.
"The president is going to act. There is executive action that can be taken. We haven't decided what that is yet," Biden said.
Whatever those moves might be, they'll likely upset Obama opponents already angered by the hundreds of regulations and executive orders his administration has come up with free of any input from Congress.
But there are also laws the White House wants Congress to pass to tighten the control of guns.
"Pass the assault weapons ban; pass legislation that would ban high-capacity magazines; pass a bill that would close loopholes in our background check system," White House press secretary Jay Carney said at a White House briefing Tuesday. "Those are things that Congress could move on very quickly."
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has already weighed in on the matter, saying all the battling over budgets and debt limits will forestall any action Congress can take on gun control for at least three months.
Biden was scheduled to meet with gun owner groups such as the National Rifle Association, Thursday.
"We're reaching out to all parties, whatever side of this debate you fall," the vice president said.
The NRA is likely to be the most powerful opponent of any moves by the White House that gun owners see as a threat to their liberty and their Second Amendment rights.