By Philip Rucker
The Washington Post
DANBURY, Conn. — Vice President Joe Biden traveled Thursday to this New England town, 12 miles from where an elementary school became a scene of a slaughter in December, to make a fiery plea for Congress to toughen the nation's gun laws.
Vowing that there is "a moral price to be paid for inaction," Biden sought to shame lawmakers who are hesitant about voting for President Barack Obama's gun-control agenda.
"I can't imagine how we will be judged as a society if we do nothing," he said. "If you're concerned about your political survival, you should be concerned about the survival of our children. And guess what? I believe the price to be paid politically should go to those who refuse to act. . . .The American people are with us."
Biden, his voice growing louder and louder, delivered a point-by-point rebuttal of arguments made by the National Rifle Association and other gun-rights activists. He contended that people do not need AR-15s and other military-style assault rifles for protection.
"They say, 'Well, it's about our culture,' " Biden said. "The facts are, our culture's not killing 25 people a day. It's weapons and high-capacity magazines. It's criminals who get guns without going through a background check."
Biden accused some questioners participating in his online chats of planting questions designed to place roadblocks to his gun-control agenda.
"They say, 'All you're going to do, Biden, you and the president, you're going to deny law-abiding citizens their rights under the Second Amendment,' " he said. "Not true."
NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said in a statement responding to Biden's speech that "holding press conferences and making speeches will not make our country or our children safer."