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Biden says "no silver bullet" on dealing with gun violence

January 11, 2013|By Melanie Mason
  • Vice President Joe Biden meets with video game industry executives as part of his meetings on gun policy. He hopes to make recommendations to President Obama by Tuesday.
Vice President Joe Biden meets with video game industry executives as part… (Nicholas Kamm / AFP/Getty…)

Vice President Joe Biden culminated a week of meetings on gun policy Friday, telling representatives of the video game industry that “there’s no silver bullet” when it comes to confronting gun violence.

“We know this is a complex problem,” he said, emphasizing the diversity of groups he has consulted since the initiative began in late December, including law enforcement, medical groups, hunters and gun owners and the entertainment industry. That range, he said, proved that the video game industry has not been not been singled out.

“I come to this meeting with no judgment. You all know the judgment other people have made,” Biden told those at the meeting, who included executives from major video game producers such as Electronic Arts and the Entertainment Software Assn. Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. and Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius also attended.

Biden asked whether there has been a “coarsening of our culture,” but added, “I do not know the answer to that question.”

After the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., in which 20 elementary students and six school staff members were killed, some advocates called for an examination of how violence in movies and video games might contribute to carnage. On Friday, Massachusetts authorities pulled violent video games from  rest stops across the state.  

One of the fiercest critics of the video game and entertainment industry has been the National Rifle Assn. At a news conference in December, Wayne LaPierre, the group’s executive vice president, lambasted the game industry as “a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells and sows violence against its own people through vicious, violent video games.”

“In a race to the bottom, media conglomerates compete with one another to shock, violate and offend every standard of civilized society by bringing an even more toxic mix of reckless behavior and criminal cruelty right into our homes every minute, every day, every hour of every single year,” he said.

Biden, who pledged Thursday to get his policy recommendations to the president by Tuesday, took a softer approach to his deadline on Friday.

"I'm shooting for Tuesday,” he said. “I hope I get it done by then."

melanie.mason@latimes.com

@melmason

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