DANBURY, Conn. – Vice President Joe Biden challenged politicians to enact gun laws to reduce violence and accused gun control opponents of "looking for roadblocks" rather than answers in a speech Thursday in Danbury.
Biden's comments were part of his keynote address at a gun violence conference at Western Connecticut State University.
"We have to speak for those 20 beautiful children who died 69 days ago, 12 miles from here," Biden said to the audience, which included Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, Gov. Dannel Malloy, Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch, Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy and U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty among the crowd of a few hundred, according to the Hartford Courant.
Before he took the stage, Biden met with two families whose children were killed Dec. 14 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, according to The New York Times, and he shared his story of losing his wife and daughter in a car accident in 1972.
"What I say to my colleagues who will watch this and listen to this, I say to you, if you are concerned about your political survival, you should be concerned about the survival of our children," he told the crowd. "There's a moral price to be paid for inaction."
Other speakers included U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who shared his experience with gun violence growing up on the South Side of Chicago and running the city’s school system, where a student was lost to gun violence every two weeks.
"We know we can't save every single life," Biden said, but added that passing gun control measures will mean fewer children die from gun violence.
Earlier in the conference, Murphy stressed the importance of change at the federal level.
"The policy changes that we talk about here today are incredibly important," he said. "The most important of those changes are those at the national level."
Malloy also introduced a package of gun control measures at the conference, aimed at implementing new laws to reduce gun violence and strengthening the enforcement of existing laws.