Google hangout with Vice President Biden addresses gun control


VIce President Joe Biden discussed the Obama administration's new gun control policies with guests live on Google Hangout Thursday.


Alex Wong

Vice President Joe Biden discussed gun control issues in a live discussion on Google Hangout Thursday afternoon.

Joining Biden's "Fireside Hangout" was Guy Kawasaki, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, video blogger Phil DeFranco, a gun owner from Connecticut and a public school representative.

The 30-minute online video chat, outlined the Obama administration’s new policies on reducing gun violence.

The administration's plan includes proposals to restrict the size of ammunition magazines, more background checks for gun purchasers, an assault weapons ban, strengthening mental health programs and increasing school safety.

Biden said the administration was taking concrete measures to tackle gun-related crime, including supporting an assault weapons ban that was reintroduced in Congress today.

He also signaled the White House may act on a federal gun trafficking law.

When asked about proposals for bolstering security in schools, the Vice President mentioned funding to train teachers to identify aberrant behavior in students that could lead to violence.

Biden admitted the $40 million proposal along with an extra $15 million for training teachers was not nearly enough to bring the program nationwide but could create "best practices" for states to follow.

The Vice President also said that more money for research into gun deaths would bolster efforts to crack down on violence.

He was quick to say that the new measures were not a cure-all for gun violence.

Allaying fears of gun proponents, the Vice President insisted on the notion of personal gun ownership calling it a "legitimate and respected culture."

"I don't view it as gun control," said Biden. "I view it as gun safety."

Biden, who owns two shotguns, rebuked suggestions that gun owners were being unfairly picked on, suggesting the administration was trying to make reasonable changes to gun laws, while better enforcing others.

Mashable noted that the event is a resurrection of Biden's earlier "Fireside Hangouts" - a play on Roosevelt's "fireside chats" - in which he discusses issues with government officials via video chat.

PBS NewsHour’s Hari Sreenivasan moderated the event.

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