Biden’s Crass Political Calculations
In most of his speeches and other appearances, President Joe Biden (D) talks at length about victims, often citing them by name and mentioning where and when they died. Yet a closer look at his many proposals proves he doesn’t really care about these victims. He is simply focused on strategies to reduce the rights of lawful gun owners—particular examples are just sometimes useful to his desire to curtail this individual right.
Instead of focusing on stopping and catching violent criminals, Biden has openly declared that lawful gun owners, gun manufacturers and firearm retailers are the enemy of his administration. Biden wants to ban guns, to run gunmakers out of business, to limit magazine capacities, to end private transfers of firearms and to pass other restrictions that only target law-abiding gun owners and manufacturers.
With that critically important point in mind, let’s take a look at five facts that prove the president doesn’t really care about the victims of violent criminals his proposals wouldn’t stop.
Interestingly, you’ll rarely hear President Biden talk about violent crime, violent criminals or criminal violence; instead, he tends to use phrases like “gun violence” and “public-health crisis” to make it all about guns. Likewise, you’ll rarely hear him talk about ratcheting up law-enforcement efforts in locations with runaway violent crime. He also doesn’t like to talk about vigorous prosecution of those arrested for violent assault and murder.
Biden’s focus on the gun, not the criminal, and his semantic use of certain catchphrases, such as “gun violence,” is an intentional strategy to try to convince Americans who are somewhere in the middle on this issue to agree with him that our Second Amendment rights need to be curtailed or outright taken away.
The same can be said for Biden’s insistence that guns contribute to some sort of public-health epidemic. What is dangerous to public health are violent criminals who repeatedly prey on those who can’t protect themselves, but these victims are subsequently ignored by cynical politicians who claim to believe guns are the problem.
Besides the fallacy of using the term “epidemic” to describe violent crime when discussing the criminal misuse of firearms, the talk is nonsense when you look at criminal violence over the past few decades. Until 2020, America had seen a long, overall decline in violent crime. Last year likely saw a rise—in some cities even a surge. That, however, had nothing to do with gun ownership and rising gun sales, and everything to do with riots, movements to defund the police and factors associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
As America’s 1st Freedom contributor Charles C.W. Cooke put it in these pages earlier this year: “Contrary to the beliefs of many politicians, there is no provision within the American Constitution that renders its provisions irrelevant if someone says the words ‘public health’ or ‘national security’ or ‘COVID-19.’ On the contrary, the very reason we have a written constitution is to prevent our freedoms from being evaporated every time something unpleasant or alarming happens.”
“Gun violence” is an idiotic political term. People can be violent and some of those people use guns criminally. But Biden isn’t honest enough to call violent criminals what they are. Instead, he prefers to lie and pretend a constitutional right is the problem.
President Biden’s insistence on blaming America’s gun manufacturers—who make firearms for law-abiding citizens, law-enforcement officers and the U.S. military—for the actions of criminals is also very concerning. Neither his rhetoric nor his proposals would stop violent criminals from victimizing innocent Americans.
Biden falsely insists that gun makers are immune from being sued for product-liability issues, even though this claim is patently and provably false. Despite this, in a recent speech, Biden indicated that his one prayer is that gun manufacturers can be sued into oblivion: “If I get one thing on my list—the Lord came down and said, ‘Joe, you get one of these’—give me that one,” he said during a recent gun-control speech at the White House. “Because I tell you what, there would be a ‘come to the Lord’ moment these folks would have real quickly. But they’re not. They’re not. They’re exempt.”
Biden is talking about the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), an important law that keeps gun makers and sellers from being sued for the criminal misuse of their safe, lawful products. With his proposal to repeal this law, Biden is clearly going after law-abiding corporations and businesses rather than violent criminals.
Biden wants to repeal the PLCAA because he knows the immediate effect would be an avalanche of frivolous lawsuits funded by gun-ban billionaires. These lawsuits would cost gun companies so much to defend that they’d be run out of business; in fact, the law was passed in response to big-city mayors who were trying to bleed gun companies dry using this method.
Just consider that none of the politicians advocating the repeal of the PLCAA—including President Biden—have yet explained how such an action would curtail violent criminals, or who would supply guns to the law-abiding, including law-enforcement officers, after our gun companies were bankrupted by frivolous lawsuits.
The fact that Biden and other gun-ban advocates are targeting firearms that are seldom used in violent crimes is indisputable. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), rifles of all kinds are used in 3% or less of all murders annually in the U.S. And the AR-15-style rifles the president is so vehemently targeting make up only a fraction of those. Consequently, doing the math shows that rather than concentrating on stopping violent criminals, Biden’s lust for banning semi-automatic rifles is geared less toward guns and more toward control.
After all, America had a federal ban on such rifles back in the 1990s, which included a ban on magazines holding more than 10 rounds. When the ban was allowed to sunset after 10 years, a federal government study concluded that the ban didn’t have any effect on violent crime.
The push to ban or stringently regulate pistol stabilizing braces when attached to certain handguns is even more confusing. With estimates on these stabilizing braces in private hands ranging from 3 million to as many as 40 million, I know of only one mass murder event where the perpetrator used a gun with a stabilizing brace. Yet, at the time of this writing, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) had published a proposal to regulate handguns with attached stabilizing braces—both new ones and those currently owned—under the existing federal law that regulates items like machine guns and suppressors, requiring registration and a $200 tax. And that proposal was done at Biden’s behest, as regulating handguns with such braces is near the top of his gun-control wish list.
In reality, you could have an outright “ban” on such firearms and accessories with a life-in-prison penalty for ownership included, and it wouldn’t affect violent crime. People intent on committing assault and murder already ignore gun laws.
President Biden and other anti-gun politicians say they want to make it harder for criminals to get guns; however, their effort to close the supposed “Charleston Loophole” would not reduce violent crime, and might even increase it. That’s mainly because studies have shown that most violent criminals get their guns by stealing them or purchasing them from a fellow gang member or other criminal on the street, so such laws won’t stop them.
Here’s the truth about that “loophole.” The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) was included as part of the 1994 Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act. When the Brady Bill was introduced, it included a mandatory five-day waiting period before a prospective purchaser of a handgun could take possession of the handgun. During that five days, the federal government intended to force local law enforcement to conduct a background check on the purchaser. This unfunded mandate was later struck down as unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in the NRA-backed case of Printz v. U.S. (1997).
The development and implementation of NICS to replace the five-day waiting period was included in what finally passed as the Brady Act. Realizing that these background checks wouldn’t always be “instant,” however, pro-gun lawmakers managed to include an amendment saying that if the background check was not completed within three business days, the gun dealer would have the option to proceed with the transfer. This would prevent the potential background-check bureaucratic bottleneck from becoming another sneaky way to prevent people from exercising their rights in a timely fashion. In a nutshell, that three-business-day provision is what gun-ban activists now call the “Charleston loophole.”
If you dig deep into the topic, you’ll learn that this “loophole” is named after a tragedy that would not have been prevented by lengthening the three-day period. Extending that three-day period would just give the government power to delay gun sales, possibly indefinitely.
With several recent appointments, including the attorney general and associate attorney general, Biden has created a Department of Justice—and possibly, as this was going to print, an ATF—that are much more antagonistic toward gun makers and lawful gun owners.
One example is Attorney General Merrick Garland. Most readers will likely remember that Garland, as then-President Barack Obama’s nominee to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia in March 2016, had indicated, while serving on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, that he does not believe the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms. At the time, his nomination fired up pro-Second Amendment advocates so much that they worked hard and stopped a vote. Now, Garland is running Biden’s Justice Department, which includes overseeing the FBI and ATF.
And, speaking of the ATF, things won’t get any better there if Biden’s nomination of David Chipman to head the agency charged with enforcing the country’s gun laws is successful.
“The nomination of Chipman is a troubling reversal of years of proactive safety cooperation between ATF and our industry,” said the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Larry Keane. “It is an undeniable targeting of a constitutionally protected industry by President Biden who called us ‘the enemy.’ It is also a reckless betrayal of the brave men and women of the ATF who have a difficult enough job without the politicization of the ATF.”
These five facts are just some examples showing that Biden is more interested in inconveniencing and taking freedom away from America’s lawful gun owners than he is in stopping violent criminals from preying on others.
Both crime studies and common sense tell us that the best way to stop violent criminals is to actively target those who prey on others. We need to arrest criminals, prosecute them and put them in prison. Yet Biden and his anti-gun allies in Congress never mention such proposals. They’re focused on disarming law-abiding citizens, not protecting the American people from violent criminals. It is clear that the victims of violent crimes are mere props to sell Biden’s gun-control wish list to America.
Article by Mark Chesnut