Via The Hill:

Vice President Joe Biden’s address to nearly 300 of the country’s mayors on Thursday couldn’t have come at a better time for the administration’s push to rally public support for its proposals on reducing gun violence.

Biden, headlining the winter meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C., spoke of the Newtown, Conn. massacre as the clarion call for the administration’s proposals.

“Newtown…affected the public psyche in a way I’ve never seen before,” Biden said. “The image of first graders not just shot but riddled with bullets…we have an obligation to respond intelligently to that crisis.”

Biden, who headed a task force that presented its recommendations to President Obama this week, said gun violence had become so regular in the country that small acts of violence didn’t shock the public anymore, a “coarsening” which he called “defining deviancy down.”

“We can no longer afford to define deviancy down,” he said. “We can’t wait any longer to take action. The time has come.”