Biden's focus on guns completely wrong approach

(AP Photo/John Locher, File)

President Joe Biden is under a lot of pressure to deal with the surge in violent crime that we’ve seen over the last few years. Things have gotten bad in a whole lot of places and the heat is on.

Unsurprisingly, Biden has decided to focus on guns, rather than criminals.

However, as John Lott notes over at Fox News, this approach ignores some basic facts.

With violent crime increasing over the last two years, Americans want a solution. But President Joe Biden constantly frames violent crime as only a gun problem. Again, it was the sole focus of Biden’s speech in New York City on Thursday. Even when he mentions police or prosecutors, it was in terms of enforcing gun control laws.

But this “guns first” approach ignores a basic fact – over 92% of violent crimes in America do not involve firearms. And while Biden blames guns for the increase in violent crime, the latest data show that gun crimes fell dramatically.

Biden’s proposal yesterday to “work to take those shooters off the streets as quickly as possible” is great, but with over 92% of violent crime not involving guns, why not promise to do this for all violent criminals?

The U.S. Department of Justice’s National Crime Victimization Survey, in the latest year available (2020), shows that there were 4,558,150 rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults, and the FBI reports 21,570 murders. Of those, 350,460 rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults (see Table 8) and 13,620 murders involved firearms. Adding those numbers up, 7.9% of violent crimes used guns.

Those are, of course, very important facts often missing from the discussion. Why? Probably because most of those who are meant to advance that discussion would rather these numbers never see the light of day.

Unfortunately, it has now.

See, the focus on so-called gun violence appears to be premised on the idea that it’s far better to be murdered with a knife, a hammer, or literally anything else except a gun. It’s as if you’re not as dead if you’re not shot.

That, of course, is ridiculous and we all know it. Murdered is murdered. It doesn’t get better because it’s a different kind of weapon.

Yet that’s what sure looks to be the case.

Of course, I’ll also acknowledge there’s another reason so many lawmakers and activists are focused on guns when they account for such a small percentage of the total number of violent crimes. I mean, it’s not hard to figure out. You can’t repel tyranny with a kitchen knife.

Not effectively, anyway.

That’s probably the point, too. If you successfully demonize guns to the point that people demand they be restricted and damn the Constitution, it’s much easier to enact draconian laws in other aspects of our lives.

Unfortunately, it’s much harder to lie to people these days than it might have been in the past.

Well, it’s still easy to lie, it’s just a lot harder to get away with it. After all, we’ve got access to all the data and there are alternative sources for getting the word out about that data shows. In this case, it clearly shows that guns aren’t the problem.

President Biden is starting from a faulty premise and progressing from there.

Frankly, I’m not sure he has any premises that aren’t faulty, up to and including who shoe goes on which foot.