This is the most desperate post-election spin that I’ve seen from the gun control crowd. In a new piece at Newsweek, Brady president Kris Brown and Parkland dad Fred Guttenberg claim that the anti-gun movement “has never seen a more solid endorsement of its cause than in the election of Biden, the greatest gun violence prevention champion our movement has ever had in the White House.”
Yeah, right. Let’s not forget that gun control was such a non-issue in the election that Brady itself ran ads for candidates that never mentioned the issue. Everytown for Gun Safety did the same thing, cutting campaign ads that focused on climate change and healthcare while avoiding bringing up Biden’s support for a sweeping gun and magazine ban.
In fact, even in the post-election environment, Brown is reluctant to talk specifics about any of Biden’s gun policies, perhaps because deep down she knows that at a time of record-high gun sales and declining support for new gun laws, Americans aren’t really interested in the policies she’s peddling.
Brown and Guttenberg’s piece at Newsweek doesn’t mention Biden’s gun ban at all. Instead, the pair briefly reference public polling on “red flag” laws and “universal background checks” and claim that Biden has a mandate to act.
The American people voted decisively for Biden and Harris, who ran on the most comprehensive gun violence prevention platform in history. Organizers, particularly Black and brown organizers, young people and victims of gun violence across the nation, have worked together to ensure gun violence prevention was understood as a critical electoral issue. We’re standing in the sun on this issue because of their work. And, with a partner in the White House, we’re ready to show how we can work together to achieve needed change.
I actually laughed out loud when I read Brown boast that activists worked to ensure that gun control was “a critical electoral issue.” Biden’s gun control plans never came up in any of the presidential debates, while the candidate himself rarely brought up the issue on the campaign trail, while Brady and other anti-gun groups did everything they could do downplay the issue before voters. In the end, they still got their rear ends handed to them on Election Day. Yes, it looks at the moment like Biden has won the election, but he has absolutely no coattails whatsoever.
Pro-2A candidates will pick up at least ten seats in the House, and the best anti-gun activists can hope for is a 50-50 Senate with VP Kamala Harris casting tie-breaking votes on controversial issues. In state legislatures, the news is even worse for gun control advocates. They failed to flip a single legislative chamber despite Michael Bloomberg pouring millions of dollars into targeted campaigns from Arizona to Pennsylvania. Meanwhile, Second Amendment voters were able to establish pro-2A majorities in both chambers of the New Hampshire state legislature while maintaining every one of their current majorities.
At the federal level, there’s a good chance that Republicans will keep control of the Senate by winning at least one of the two runoff elections in Georgia, denying Brady and other gun control activists the opportunity to impose Biden’s gun ban, at least legislatively.
And honestly, if gun control is such a winning issue with voters at the moment, why are both Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff avoiding talk of gun control in their Senate races down in Georgia? Ossoff’s even running ads talking about how he’ll “defend” the Second Amendment instead of playing up his support for bans on modern sporting rifles and mandatory gun licenses for all gun owners.
I know that in today’s political environment, no interest group can easily acknowledge election failures. Putting a positive spin on results, no matter how good or bad, is just par for the course, and while it’s not surprising to see Kris Brown’s claims of an electoral mandate on gun control, it’s also not convincing. Gun control advocates may end up with their guy in the White House, but it’s clear that Americans did not cast their vote to empower Biden’s anti-gun agenda.