In between Joe Biden’s bizarre threats to use nuclear weapons against American citizens and his claim that the Second Amendment didn’t protect cannons, the president’s recent comments on violent crime laid out a strategy that focuses on going after federally licensed firearms retailers. Biden specifically referenced Baltimore in his remarks, pointing out that the majority of guns seized in the city were purchased beyond the city limits and arguing that by going after “rogue gun dealers”, we can dramatically reduce the nation’s crime rate.
If it seemed like Biden was more upset by responsible Americans exercising their Second Amendment rights than violent criminals who are illegally using guns in the commission of violent crime, you’re not alone. And according to former Baltimore Police Department Deputy Commissioner Jason Johnson, Biden’s big idea isn’t going to do much good.
“I’m going to say that it’s going to have virtually zero impact, because it misses the point,” Operation Crime & Justice contributor Jason Johnson said. “The President’s plan is very long on gun control type rhetoric and very little, and really non existent, any talk of holding individuals accountable who actually are using guns to harm people.”
Johnson believes the President’s plan is missing a ‘human element’, where those pulling the trigger will actually fear consequences for their actions.
“Are people feeling more embolden to use a gun and go shoot a person now than they were 3, 4, 5 years ago? The answer is yes and that’s the problem,” Johnson said. “There’s no way around it, you can’t reduce crime without going after those people and holding them accountable.”
While Johnson didn’t get into the history of gun control in the state of Maryland, it’s worth pointing out that then-Gov. Martin O’Malley signed a number of restrictions into law back in 2013. The Maryland Firearms Safety Act imposed some of the strictest regulations in the nation; from banning so-called assault weapons and “high capacity” magazines to creating a mandatory gun license for all handgun owners. Yet in the years since the law took effect, Baltimore’s homicide rate has skyrocketed. In 2015, just two years after the Maryland Firearms Safety Act was signed into law, the city had 344 homicides and a homicide rate of 55 per 100,000, about ten times the national average.
Baltimore has had more than 300 murders each year since 2015, including 335 murders last year. If even the “toughest gun laws in the nation” failed to reduce homicides, then why should anyone think that Biden’s anti-gun ideology will work any better?
For his part, Johnson says that there are already programs like Project Exile that can truly make a difference without putting any new gun laws on the books.
The initiative transfers certain gun cases from state to federal court where sentences are usually stiffer and there’s no parole.
It’s a program experts say should be expanded even further. Saying that, combined with crime reduction strategies in local communities, could help show there are consequences for the violence our city continues to see on a daily basis.
“Do we want people in all manners to find other avenues in life? Absolutely 100%,” Johnson said. “But if they don’t do that, we want to hold them accountable. That’s the bottom line.”
Well, I’d argue that while “we” may want to hold violent criminals accountable for their actions, Joe Biden would rather blame legal gun owners and the firearms industry instead. Biden wants to create new federal felony offenses for maintaining possession of AR-15s and “large capacity” magazines, while repealing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act and allowing the firearms industry to be sued into oblivion by gun control activists seeking to hold them responsible for the acts of criminals.
Not only would Biden’s agenda, if enacted, fail to make a dent in violent crime; it would gut the heart of the Second Amendment make it nearly impossible for the average citizen to purchase and possess a gun to use in self-defense. In other words, in the name of fighting crime, Biden would make the country a much more dangerous place for everyone but the violent criminals themselves.