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Vice President Joe Biden made a fiery and emotional appeal for Congress to pass new gun laws on Thursday, only 10 miles from the scene of the elementary school in Newtown, CT, where 20 children were gunned down in December.

At a gun violence forum in Danbury, Biden said “there is a moral price to be paid for inaction” on new gun laws and that “I can’t imagine how we will be judged as a society if we do nothing.”

The latest polling backs up Biden’s assertion that “America’s changed on this issue” and that “the American people are behind us.” A Pew/USA Today poll released the same day found that a majority of Americans still support President Obama’s big three gun-safety proposals — 83 percent support universal background checks on all gun sales, 56 percent support a ban on military-style assault weapons, and 53 percent back a ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines.

Despite a majority of Americans supporting reinstating the assault weapons ban, it’s going to be tough to pass in the current Congress. This point was exemplified on Wednesday at a Phoenix town hall hosted by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), where a mother whose 24-year-old son was murdered at the Aurora, CO movie theater shooting rampage told McCain, “These assault rifles allow the shooter to fire many rounds without having to reload. These weapons do not belong on our streets.” McCain responded to the grieving mother by saying “I can tell you right now, you need some straight talk. That assault weapons ban will not pass the Congress of the United States,” as the audience roared in approval.


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