Fred Guttenberg’s sorrow following the loss of his daughter in the Parkland massacre is understandable, even if it’s beyond anything I personally can imagine. As such, his dislike of guns and the Second Amendment are also somewhat understandable. I don’t think he’s evil for his position, just horribly misguided and driven by emotion rather than fact.
As such, he’s a horrible surrogate for a presidential candidate. However, that’s who the campaign got to fill in for the former vice president’s most recent virtual town hall.
And, unsurprisingly, he offered up a big old ball of stupid in that role.
Gun-control activist and Joe Biden surrogate Fred Guttenberg said the presumptive Democratic nominee would shut down gun stores in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
Guttenberg told the audience at a virtual town hall Monday that Trump was killing Americans by allowing gun stores to remain open, pointing to federal guidelines that labeled gun businesses “essential.”
“This decision by this administration is going to lead to additional people dying in this country,” Guttenberg said. “Joe Biden would not have called these essential businesses in the middle of a pandemic. It’s that simple. And so shame on the politicians who allowed this to happen. Shame on the businesses who are using this pandemic as a business sales opportunity.”
Guttenberg went on to say that gun stores are contributing to the pandemic and selling to people who are not legally allowed to buy or own firearms, though he did not offer evidence of either claim.
“You have crowds showing up around these gun stores not only spreading coronavirus, but they’re buying weapons, or they’re buying ammunition,” he said. “And many of them are prohibited purchasers of weapons, or they already have the weapon, and now they’re running out and buying the ammunition to use it.”
Now, let’s address some of these claims.
First, let’s talk about the claim that gun stores being open is causing the spread of the disease.
What is being said here isn’t a hypothetical. Fred is saying definitively that the fact these stores are open is causing the virus to spread. That’s a bold claim and I’d like for Fred to show his work. Show me evidence that this is actually happening. Show me cases where this has actually happened, first of all. Second, show me where the percentage is remotely significant.
Further, Fred suggests people are dying specifically because others can buy guns. Of course, he’s equating the lawful sale of firearms with violent crime. That’s a stretch even at the best of times. Now, though, it’s an even bigger reach. After all, most places are reporting violent crime to actually have gone down. That means that despite there being more guns on the street than ever before, there’s less violent crime.
More guns, less crime. Shocking, I know.
Then Fred goes on to claim that many of those buying guns are prohibited people. To be fair, that’s certainly a possibility. We’ve found that a lot of prohibited people in some areas were trying to buy guns. They were stopped, though. We don’t know that any prohibited people were successful. In fact, by the time they learned there was a backlog with the NICS and they might get around it, the system was starting to catch up.
Yet again, Fred states it like an absolute fact, yet he fails to show his work.
And again, violent crime is actually trending down during the pandemic. If we had all these armed criminals, one might expect to see the opposite trend, but we don’t.
And this is who the Biden campaign chose as his proxy.
Then again, considering the stuff that comes out of Biden’s mouth, I can see why they chose Fred.