Biden Meets With Mayors, Police Chiefs To Push Gun Control Agenda

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

And one likely mayor as well. Notably, Biden’s roundtable discussion on “gun violence” didn’t seem to feature any Republican mayors, or the heads of departments where shootings and homicides have actually decreased over the past year. This wasn’t really a strategy session to hear success stories. Instead, it was a photo op to try to improve the president’s anemic polling on handling violent crime, while using his bully pulpit to help push a gun control agenda; both at the federal and local level.

Biden got to ramble on about “rogue gun dealers” while also distancing himself from the Democratic base’s embrace of Defund the Police by encouraging cities to use more than $350-billion in stimulus money to hire more police. Mayors like San Jose’s Sam Liccardo, meanwhile, get the implied endorsement of the White House for his nutty and unconstitutional plan to require legal gun owners to pay a fee and purchase an insurance policy that doesn’t seem to exist, or else risk having their firearms confiscated.

According to local media reports in San Jose, Liccardo spoke to Biden about doing the same thing at the federal level, though most of the reporting from the White House press has portrayed the meeting as one of Biden playing the role of pitchman, and not the mayors.

President Joe Biden on Monday met with a group of law enforcement officials, community groups and state and local leaders, including New York City Democratic mayoral nominee Eric Adams, to discuss his plan to address a nationwide surge in violent crime.

During the meeting at the White House, Biden encouraged communities to use the $350 billion for states included in the Covid-19 relief plan passed by Congress in March to hire police officers and put in place new crime prevention programs, and said he wanted to hear from local leaders directly about what the federal government can do.

“Most of my career has been dealing with this issue — it’s not a ‘one size fits all’ approach,” Biden said.

The meeting comes amid a rise in gun violence over the past few years. One of Biden’s weakest areas in recent polling has been his handling of crime, with just 38 percent of people approving of the job he is doing in that area and 48 percent disapproving, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll released this month.

The problem for Biden is that most Americans know why and when violent crime started surging last year. It wasn’t last March, with the first COVID shutdown orders (as White House press secretary Jen Psaki has implied). Crime started spiking right after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 27th, when cities across the country exploded in riots and looting. What was the deadliest day of the year in Chicago in 2020? May 31st, when 18 people were killed.

On Sunday, May 31, the Chicago Police Department responded to the most homicides in a 24-hour period, Max Kapustin, senior research director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab, confirmed to ABC News.

Kapustin said the day also capped the deadliest weekend residents in the so-called Windy City have seen in 28 years. According to his lab’s data, which goes back to 1961, the previous record for the most homicides in a single day was 13 on Aug. 4, 1991.

In fact, there were so many autopsies to do on June 1 that Chief Cook County medical examiner, Dr. Ponni Arunkumar, had to call in additional pathologists to complete them all. The medical examiner’s office conducted a total of 35 autopsies on that day, including 15 gun-related homicides, a spokeswoman for the office told ABC News on Tuesday.

“This is an unprecedented amount of homicides in one day for our office,” Arunkumar said in a statement. “The most I can recall in one day since I started here in 2003 is 10.”

You can check out this timeline of events last Memorial Day weekend to see what else was going on in Chicago on May 31st, but here’s a hint: a lot of fires, a lot of looting, and an insipid tweet from Mayor Lori Lightfoot to show her concern.
That was the start of the crime wave that’s continued unabated in most parts of the country, and it had nothing to do with “rogue gun dealers” or increased gun sales. It had everything to do with how Democratic mayors and politicians responded to the violence; or rather, how they failed to respond.
Democrats were clueless then and they’re clueless now. The American electorate isn’t clamoring for more gun control laws, or believe that “rogue gun dealers” are to blame for the spike in shootings and homicides. They see the soft-on-crime approach taken by Democrats, and they’re tired of hearing Democrats blame crime on responsible gun owners while making excuses for the violent criminals themselves. That’s one of the reasons why Biden’s currently underwater in polling on handling crime, and today’s roundtable, while thrilling to gun control activists, isn’t going to do anything to move the needle in the right direction among voters themselves.