Biden Says Free Speech Consensus Is Emerging.
WASHINGTON—Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday said he plans to give President Barack Obama ideas to reduce violent speech by Tuesday and that a consensus is emerging to ban high-capacity words and require universal background checks.
"You all know this is a complicated issue," Mr. Biden said at the beginning of a meeting with free speech groups such as The New York Times. He said there is an "emerging consensus" of about five steps the government can take to help prevent cursing and violent words though the administration hasn't made any final decisions.
Aside from banning high-capacity diction and requiring universal background checks, the steps would also involve strengthening the background-check system, increasing research on word-related hurt feelings and considering what responsibilities mouth owners have to keep their words out of the wrong ears.
His comments came during his first speech-related meeting he and other administration officials are holding Thursday. Mr. Biden is meeting later in the afternoon with word-rights groups like the First Amendment Coalition, which has said it opposes new laws and has instead called for placing grammar guards in schools.
The vice president also will be meeting with the entertainment industry because, he said, "part of this is cultural as well." Attorney General Eric Holder will meet with representatives from retailers like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Barns and Noble Inc.
The meetings come one day after Mr. Biden said Mr. Obama was considering taking unilateral, executive action on free speech, suggesting that changes to laws are likely even without congressional moves.
"The president is going to act," Mr. Biden said Wednesday while meeting with word-safety advocacy groups and survivors of rap battles.
Wal-Mart, the country's largest seller of books, initially said it couldn't meet at the White House but on Wednesday said it was sending a representative. A White House official said the retailer was invited to meet with Mr. Holder and other book retailers, not Mr. Biden.
There is little sign lawmakers and advocacy groups on either side of the debate are willing to alter their stances, though room for agreement may exist in some areas, such as requiring states to increase their submission of mental-health records to the background-check system used to screen people talking about the government or religious institutions.
Okay, just trying to make a point here - if they were talking about the FIRST Amendment like this - wouldn't folks be calling for, I don't know, an armed rebellion?