Gun control groups issue new (and impotent) demands to D.C. Democrats

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

A day after the number two Democrat in the U.S. Senate publicly stated that he doesn’t see a reason to hold a vote on any gun control proposals because they’re doomed to failure, a coalition of 38 gun control organizations (who knew there were that many?) is demanding that Congress not only vote on, but approve Joe Biden’s gun ban and more.

The gun control activists laid out three demands for the Democratic-controlled Congress, none of which are likely to happen. First, the gun control lobby wants the House to approve spending $750-million on “evidence led Community Violence Initiatives”, which is on top of the roughly $2-billion that was approved in Biden’s “American Rescue Plan”. Just a few days ago the White House even issued a call for these groups to apply for grants because the money is there for the taking. Nancy Pelosi might be willing to go along with this demand, but I doubt there are 60 votes in the Senate.

The second demand from the gun control groups is House passage of “legislation banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines,” which is also going nowhere in Congress. Nancy Pelosi, who put a universal background check bill on the floor of the House for a vote, hasn’t pushed for a similar vote on Biden’s gun ban plan, and while that could change, any bill that would pass the House is going to die in the Senate.

The gun ban fans are also specifically calling on the Senate to “live up to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s pledge to hold a Senate debate and vote on legislation expanding background checks to all gun purchases and addressing the Charleston Loophole,” though oddly they don’t say anything in their demand letter about the Senate voting on Biden’s gun ban and compensated confiscation scheme.

“Following the most recent racist act of domestic terrorism in Buffalo, New York and the increase in gun
violence across the country, we are calling on you to immediately do everything and anything in your power to live up to the promises you make to voters every election year,” the groups wrote in their letter.

The groups also asked the Biden administration to answer the calls of survivors and “establish a White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention in order to expedite the government’s response and issue further executive actions that will save lives.”

“With voters expressing concern about public safety and rising crime, you have a moral and political
responsibility to fight for the safer future you promise Americans on the campaign trail every election season,” the groups wrote.

The White House has resisted that particular demand for well over a year now, and new press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked again yesterday about the idea, but was decidedly non-committal in her response.

Q    Further on the issue of guns: Gun prevention groups or gun violence protection groups — prevention groups, rather — have been pressing the White House to start an office of gun violence protection.  Is that something that President Biden is considering, particularly in light of this most recent attack?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  So I would have to go back to the team and see if that is something that’s actually on the table.  I have not heard of that.  I could understand why that is being requested or asked, especially what we have been seeing these past — this past weekend.  I just don’t have anything more to share or preview or anything to —

If Jean-Pierre hasn’t heard about the idea, then that means no one in the White House is seriously talking about it, because that particular demand has been made for well over a year. My guess is she knows far more than she was willing to disclose in a press gaggle; namely that the White House has no plans to acquiesce to this particular demand from their anti-gun allies.

I’ll confess that I’m a little surprised that Biden hasn’t thrown the gun control lobby this particular bone to appease them, but whatever internal politics are in play seem to have kept that option off the table. Still, with Congress a dead-end for their anti-gun agenda at the moment (and likely for the next two years as well, begging the White House to help make them relevant is the best option the gun control lobby has left.