For months now I’ve been talking about the inconvenient truth for gun control activists on the Left; the policies that they are pushing are completely contrary to the push for de-policing and de-incarceration that are also coming from the Left. Gun control activists like Shannon Watts have tried to ignore the inherent contradiction in declaring that “police violence is gun violence” while also calling for the creation of new, non-violent possessory crimes that, according to her own view of the criminal justice system, will be disproportionately used against young black and brown men.
Some activists actually understand the problem, however, and rather than paper over the contradiction, they’re simply asking the Biden administration to focus their efforts (and spending) on violence reduction strategies that don’t involve new laws enforced at the point of a gun by police.
As @joebiden prepares for a @CNN town hall in Milwaukee, Black youth in the city have a message for @POTUS: invest in our communities. Give money to programs and gun violence prevention organizations that do not lean on policing and law enforcement. Watch it: pic.twitter.com/jDy7PMIE4x
— 50 Miles More (@50milesmore) February 16, 2021
Tatiana Washington, who is one of the young activists featured in the video, says that if Biden really wants to help, he’ll “get funding and money to programs and community-based organizations that does not lean on policing and law-enforcement, that does violent intervention work. We have so many violence interrupters in our community and in our neighborhoods that do real work that actually does save lives, but they need more money to do that work.”
“So the biggest thing that the president could do,” she continues, “is really to give that money, give those grants to these community-based organizations that are doing community-based work.”
Interestingly, the message to Biden was put together by Guns Down America and March For Our Lives, which have both called for plenty of new gun control laws that would be enforced by the police. In fact, March For Our Lives’ “Peace Plan” would create a huge number of new, non-violent crimes that would have to be enforced by police.
Advocate and pass legislation to raise the national standard for gun ownership:a national licensing and registry system that promotes responsible gun ownership; a ban on assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, and other weapons of war; policies to disarm gun owners who pose a risk to themselves or others.
Who would enforce the laws against owning a gun without a license, or owning an unregistered firearm? Who would enforce a ban on modern sporting rifles and commonly-owned ammunition magazines? And who would “disarm gun owners” who are red-flagged by the courts?
In each of those circumstances, it would be sworn law enforcement officers who would be responsible for ensuring compliance with the gun control laws demanded by March For Our Lives.
Guns Down has advocated for similar measures, most recently in an an open letter to Joe Biden just a few weeks ago.
Your administration will have to work with the U.S. Congress to pass much-needed legislation to 1) strengthen our nation’s background check system for firearm and ammunition purchases, 2) ban military-style assault weapons and high capacity magazines in the civilian marketplace, 3) crackdown on firearm trafficking, 4) require safe storage of firearms, 5) hold firearm manufacturers accountable for their dangerous and irresponsible products and business practices, 6) allow for temporary removal of weapons from individuals who may harm themselves or others, 7) and make criminal justice and police reform a priority.
You cannot be in favor of criminal justice and police reform while also demanding new federal felonies for the possession of commonly-owned firearms and magazines. In cities like New York, for instance, the vast majority of defendants in Brooklyn’s gun court are young black and brown men without serious criminal histories but who face years in prison for simple possession of a firearm without a license. That’s what the “success” of these gun control demands actually looks like when they’re enshrined in law.
If these young activists are serious about reducing violence without more new gun control laws, they’ll probably find more allies in the Second Amendment community than in the circles of gun control activists. Maybe these teens and young adults should do another video; this one directed at the gun control organizations who are supposedly backing their calls for community-based interventions while still pushing for new, police-enforced gun control laws.
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