There’s really no doubt about there being a surge in violent gun-related crime over the last year. Despite decades of decline, all that went out the window since the riots that gripped the nation over last summer. Obviously, it’s not just “gun crime” that’s a problem, but it’s where most people focus their attention.
Now, President Joe Biden is going to wade into it, and we all know what that will entail.
That’s right. More gun control.
The Biden administration is preparing to roll out a slate of plans to arrest rising crime rates by focusing on gun violence. It’s part of an overall push by the White House to halt an uptick of homicides over the first six months of the administration that could grow worse over the summer.
President Joe Biden will unveil his administration’s crime prevention strategy in remarks to be delivered on Wednesday, wading back into the waters of an issue that once defined his political career, but carries significant peril for the Democratic Party.
Mr Biden is no stranger to spirited debates over the best way to prevent crime. As a senator, he had a hand in writing and passing major anti-crime legislation over three decades, including the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act. During his 2020 campaign for the presidency, he often touted many parts of that 358-page bill, which included the Violence Against Women Act, a now-expired federal ban on assault weapons, and the Community Oriented Policing Services program, even as he has expressed regret for other provisions that critics now say contributed to the mass incarceration of Black Americans.
Although the president promised to take sweeping actions on gun control while he was a candidate, he has been limited in his ability to enact major gun policy initiatives due to the lack of support from Senate Republicans, ten of whom would have to back any gun bill for it to have a chance of becoming law. GOP senators have also thrown up roadblocks meant to delay confirmation of Mr Biden’s nominee to run the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, a former ATF agent and gun control advocate named David Chipman.
Stymied by Congress, the president has instead turned to executive actions, including orders to strengthen regulation of untraceable “ghost guns” and pistol braces that let handguns be fired with the accuracy of a rifle. The plans Mr Biden will discuss on Wednesday are expected to further focus on addressing gun crimes.
However, what Biden won’t acknowledge is that the previous multi-decade drop in violent crime came as states routinely liberalized gun rights. More guns, less crime.
If Biden were to acknowledge that fact, he would have to admit that guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens aren’t the problem and that gun control simply doesn’t work. He can’t do that. He can’t admit that to himself, much less the rest of the nation.
So, at some point later today, we’re likely to see more anti-gun policies coming out of the White House. I expect much of this to be executive action, but he’ll also try to pressure Republicans to back measures currently sitting in the Senate. Those aren’t going anywhere, but I expect Biden to try and push those anyway.
What you’re not likely to see from the Biden administration is anything meaningful that could draw bipartisan support. While he portrayed himself as a unifier, he really has no interest in bringing anyone together beyond telling people to sit down, shut up, and do what they’re told.
When it comes to guns and the gun community, that approach just doesn’t work.
Because of that, though, expect there to be a whole lot of debate to be coming on Biden’s supposedly anti-crime plan.