With gun tzar Joe Biden expected to propose his "gun recommendations" to Obama by next Tuesday, a proposal which will certainly involve some additional measure of gun control, the last thing the nation needed was more gas being poured into the fire today. Yet that is precisely what it got following news that two people had been shot, one of which reportedly a student, at Taft Union High School in the San Joaquin Valley in California earlier. From AP: "A student was shot and wounded at a San Joaquin Valley high school Thursday and a suspect was taken into custody, officials said. The shooting occurred about 9 a.m. at Taft Union High School, an oil and agricultural community about 120 miles northwest of Los Angeles. The student who was shot was flown to a hospital in Bakersfield, said Ray Pruitt, spokesman for the Kern County Sheriff’s Department. There was no immediate word on the victim’s condition. “We have a suspect in custody,” Pruitt said, adding that the person was believed to be a student. Pruitt said it’s believed a shotgun was used in the attack. KERO-TV Bakersfield reported that the station received phone calls from people inside the school who hid in closets."
Reuters adds: "A California ABC affiliate reported that sheriff's deputies were going room-by-room to secure the school and that two people had been shot, but had no immediate word on their condition. It said the shooter had been apprehended by police." Needless to say this will merely inflame tensions over both the cause of such incidents, as well as the mandated response, yet will hardly lead to an amicable resolution for people on both sides of the argument.
Meanwhile, USA today reports:
Vice President Biden said Thursday that he plans to deliver his gun violence task force's recommendations to President Obama by early next week.
"I have committed to him that I will have the recommendations to him by Tuesday," Biden said.
The vice president's comments came at the start of a meeting with representatives of hunters and wildlife interest groups. Biden was tapped to develop a broad set of recommendations for Obama in the aftermath of last month's shooting tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
The vice president said he is considering several recommendations he has heard repeatedly from stakeholders — including instituting universal background checks and limiting size of high-capacity magazines.
"There is a surprising, so far, recurrence of suggestions that we have universal background checks," Biden said.
Later Thursday afternoon, Biden and other senior administration officials will meet with representatives from gun rights groups, including James Baker, legislative director of the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA).
Biden, along with Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, are also scheduled to meet with entertainment industry executives later Thursday.
At this rate February is shaping up to be quite an active month: the debt ceiling, the sequester, possibly more tax hikes, and to top it all: gun control. At least the market is convinced that all will be promptly and effectively resolved, if few others.