By Daniel Strauss - 02/21/13 08:34 PM EST
Vice President Biden urged lawmakers to "show some courage" and back the Obama administration's favored measures for reducing gun violence.
Biden delivered the remarks at a forum on gun violence at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, Conn., not far from Newtown, Conn., the site of a shooting massacre in December at Sandy Hook Elementary School that resulted in 28 dead.
In Biden's solemn speech, he warned that it would be a mistake for legislators not to back the gun proposals.
"I can imagine how we will be judged as a society if we do nothing. I can imagine that," Biden said Thursday. "I can predict that — what will be written of us, 20 or 30 years from now, if we don't act."
Biden delivered the remarks after he met privately with two of the families of the shooting victims at Sandy Hook Elementary. The vice president was introduced at the event by Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D), both of whom echoed Biden's call for new laws to prevent gun violence.
The vice president added that it's "unacceptable not to" support new gun laws.
"It's just simply unacceptable," Biden said. "But what I say to my colleagues who will watch this and listen to this, I say to you, if you're concerned about your political survival you should be concerned about the survival of our children."
Biden said he believes there's a "price to be paid politically to those who refuse to act, who refuse to step forward" because the country has shifted on its opinion of guns.
The new gun laws would not violate Second Amendment rights, Biden said.
"There's plenty of ways you can protect yourself and recreate without an AR-15," Biden said. "Let me say to the outset to the press: no law-abiding citizen in the United States of America has any fear that their constitutional rights will be infringed in any way. None. Zero."