By Justin Sink
President Obama plans to formally announce on Wednesday a White House working group tasked with finding solutions to reduce gun violence in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., elementary school shootings.
The task force will be headed by Vice President Joe Biden, and is expected to develop a comprehensive strategy to reduce gun crime. Obama and Biden are both expected to attend the announcement, slated for late Wednesday morning in the White House briefing room.
On Tuesday, White House press secretary Jay Carney said the group would "engage with the American people; engage with lawmakers, with members of his administration, with mental health professionals, with law enforcement officials, with parents, communities, to try to find answers to this problem."
Earlier in the week, Obama conferred with Biden and other top Cabinet officials, including Attorney General Eric Holder, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
"Their participation underscores the comprehensive way in which the president views this problem," Carney said.
The White House has indicated that in addition to supporting an assault-weapons ban, the president will call for restrictions on high-capacity ammunition clips and legislation that will close the gun-show exception for background checks. But Obama is also expected to examine mental-health programs and depictions of violence in entertainment, including movies and video games.
"One of the reasons why the president wants to expand the net beyond considerations of gun laws is because he recognizes that and agrees with it that we need to look broadly at all of the potential contributors to the scourge of gun violence in this country," Carney said.