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Biden’s Office of Gun Control

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It would be nice if I were able to report that the people who run our sprawling federal government are taking seriously their oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, but, unfortunately, I can write no such thing. Once upon a time, American presidents established offices to defend Americans’ constitutional rights. Nowadays, they do the opposite. Last year, the Department of Homeland Security attempted to set up a “Disinformation Governance Board” that was tasked with monitoring Americans’ speech. After massive pushback, the initiative failed. But, alas, the idea did not. In September of this year, President Biden announced that he would be setting up “the first-ever White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention.” Again, the call is coming from inside the house.

In its press release describing the new department, the White House made sure to use all the right buzzwords and euphemisms, referring to “gun violence prevention,” to “commonsense actions” and to its supposed desire to “keep communities safe.” But, as ever, the proof is in the details, and the details make it clear that Joe Biden’s new office is interested in nothing more sophisticated than leveraging the same network of interest groups that promoted his anti-gun candidacy to push for the same set of unconstitutional gun-control measures as the president has called for elsewhere.

Among the figures who have been tapped to head up the board are Vice President Kamala Harris, who has suggested that the president of the United States can unilaterally confiscate firearms; Rob Wilcox, an activist with Michael Bloomberg’s gun-control group, Everytown; and Greg Jackson, an activist with the “public health”-driven gun-control group, Community Justice Action Fund.

And among the measures that they have been tasked with pushing for are “banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines” (read: prohibiting the most commonly owned rifles in America and making standard-issue magazines illegal); “requiring background checks for all gun sales” (read: creating a federal gun-registry and micromanaging all firearms transfers, including those within the same state and between relatives); and “eliminating gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability” (read: lying about the existing law and trying to achieve, via frivolous lawsuits, what cannot be achieved via the political process).

Meet the new gun-control push; same as the old gun-control push.

Familiar though it may seem, Americans ought to be concerned by this development. First, the fact that the president is choosing to spend his limited political capital in this area is illustrative of his continued zeal. Biden has a disastrously low approval rating, is underwater on almost every important issue and is presiding over crises in the economy, at the southern border and in global affairs. That his focus remains on pushing gun control ought to tell us something important about his priorities.

Worse still, Biden is hinting at exactly how he wishes to use his new group in the future. Having boasted that he has “taken more executive action” restricting the Second Amendment “than any president in history,” Biden confirmed that he will “continue to urge Congress” to pass his agenda, but that “in the absence of that sorely needed action, the Office of Gun Violence Prevention along with the rest of my administration will continue to do everything it can.” Given this president’s total disregard for the limits on his constitutional authority, these words ought to alarm anyone who cares about the integrity of the law.

Despite its official-sounding title, it must be remembered that Biden’s “office” is not an agency that has been approved and staffed by Congress, but a bunch of political partisans sitting around a desk. It must be treated as such. And, once its plan has been defeated, the next president must consign it to history.

Article by CHARLES C. W. COOKE


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