As a candidate, Joe Biden ran his primary campaign with gun control as a key plank in his platform. Sure, that plank vanished when he entered the general election, but it was still there. He didn’t exactly hide it so much as simply ignore it. The fact that the media helped facilitate that helped.
Yet no one ever really doubted that Biden was interested in gun control. We all know it’s coming now that he’s in office.
It seems some are already tired of waiting.
The White House is facing mounting pressure to unveil a comprehensive plan to reduce gun violence, an issue that the new administration has not yet publicly tackled despite promises from President Joe Biden to make it a policy priority.
Gun control advocates acknowledge the president’s short tenure in office and the ongoing public health and economic crises, but say Biden must take action soon amid what they see as a worsening crisis of gun deaths in the country.
“I am hopeful this administration is going to get on with prioritizing gun violence, but it’s time to start,” said Fred Guttenberg, whose teenage daughter was murdered by a gunman in 2018, during a mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.
Guttenberg, who became a gun control advocate after his daughter’s death, said the upcoming anniversary of the Parkland shooting on Feb. 14 should add urgency for the administration to move forward on a broad plan that includes a legislative push and executive orders aimed at restricting access to firearms.
“This would be a really good moment to show Americans we’re going to do everything we can to not have another moment like that,” said Guttenberg, who developed a relationship with Biden after the Parkland tragedy and became a vocal supporter of his campaign.
Except there’s no real evidence to suggest gun control would have any real impact on mass shootings, even school shootings like Parkland.
Of course, there’s plenty of reason to suspect that Biden may well plan on using the anniversary of the shooting to trot out some kind of gun control proposal–either through executive orders which he’s so fond of or talk about legislation–but Guttenberg shouldn’t delude himself into believing that any of these plans will actually impact mass shootings.
After all, a key point of Biden’s gun control is an assault weapon ban. However, the worst school shooting in the modern era was Virginia Tech where a gunman used two handguns to murder 32 innocent people before turning a gun on himself when the police closed in.
An AR-15 is hardly the only way to slaughter scores of innocent people, so why not try and focus on that?
For Guttenberg and people like him, they can’t see beyond the weapon itself. They can’t see beyond the gun to recognize that broken people commit atrocities of all kinds and we’d be better served by going after that instead of trying to take away one instrument of destruction.
I mean, a terrorist in Nice, France killed 86 people with a truck.
It’s never been the instrument, but the person wielding it.
Unfortunately, that’s not likely to get through to anyone, including Biden. Instead, he’ll likely bow to this renewed pressure, mostly because it’s pressuring him to do something he wants to do in the first place.
Get ready. The fight we’ve been expecting is just about here.