Gun grabbers upset with Biden over lack of gun control

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

President Joe Biden ran for office as the most gun control presidential candidate in history. It was clear where his sympathies lie and it’s not with the Second Amendment or our civil liberties in general. For his supporters, this was a selling point, too.

However, governing is a lot more difficult than running for office. The other side gets a say in what you try to do, and when what you want to do is something like infringing on our right to keep and bear arms, you’re going to have a bad time.

Now, the people Biden promised gun control to are upset that he’s not delivering.

Gun violence prevention advocates were hopeful a year ago that the Biden presidency would make progress on gun control. Instead, as his first year in office draws to an end, they are feeling disappointed.

Advocates say Biden’s response to the recent school shooting in Michigan, when a sophomore opened fire at school and killed four students, fell short, and they are disheartened that the administration’s nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) withdrew.

Like his predecessors, Biden has issued executive orders on gun violence prevention while legislation to expand background checks has failed in the Senate.

“I think the biggest thing to highlight here is that the president has been a friend to the gun violence prevention (GVP) movement this year and we’re thankful, but frankly, he hasn’t really been a leader,” said Zeenat Yahya, deputy policy director at March for Our Lives.

“We’re definitely surprised. We were really hopeful and he made a lot of promises. We are thankful for some of the actions the president has already taken but there is so much more he can do that’s a comprehensive top-to-bottom approach,” Yahya added.

Advocates wanted Biden to apply more pressure on Congress to move on gun violence, where a 50-50 Senate evenly divided between the parties is a major impediment. Activists acknowledge the political roadblocks, but express disappointment nonetheless.

So they’re not quite ready to start chanting “Let’s go Brandon” yet, but it may be coming down the road.

What they’re not getting is that Biden can apply all the pressure he wants to Congress, it’s not going to do any good. See, where a president can apply pressure and see movement is when members of his own party are less than thrilled or when you’ve got vulnerable Republicans who might need some Democratic goodwill.

Right now, that’s really not a factor. Vulnerable Republicans are more likely to be found in the House, where all this legislation passed, not the Senate.

There, you’ve got that 50-50 split and one Sen. Joe Manchin who is open to only very limited forms of gun control, things like expanded background checks that stop just short of being actually universal checks. He won’t back the bill the House sent, none of the Republicans will, and that means no amount of pressure is going to change that.

After all, Joe Manchin is a perpetually vulnerable Democrat. He’s the only Democrat elected to statewide office in West Virginia, a very, very red state. He gains nothing by succumbing to Biden pressure.

The problem is that for the gun control crowd, they expected promises to pan out into reality, and that’s not how it works. Part of the reason politicians have a reputation for lying is because they make promises they simply can’t keep. In this case, Brandon vowed to enact gun control, but his party didn’t really get the gains they expected in Congress, so they’re effectively hamstrung.

And the fact that the gun grabbers are angry at Biden about it just tickles me in so many ways I can’t even describe.

May 27, 2022 1:15 PM ET