The Senate deal may well saddle us with gun control. It’s not as bad as it could be, but it’s still gun control and still a problem.
It’s not surprising that the Senate deal isn’t enough for many on the anti-gun side of the debate. That’s to be expected. However, you’d think they’d at least be satisfied to get something they wanted out of this deal because we sure as hell aren’t.
But nope. At least one gun control group’s leader is calling for President Biden to issue executive orders.
Kris Brown, president of Brady United, a nonprofit organization that advocates for gun control, told Yahoo News that there is more Biden can do if Congress ultimately fails to act. (Some of the responses below have been edited for clarity and length.)
Yahoo News: What can Biden do as president without Congress to take action on gun control?
1. Declare gun violence a public health epidemic.
Kris Brown: We lose about 45,000 Americans a year to gun violence, and gun violence now is the No. 1 killer of children in this country. More than automobile accidents, more than poisonings, more than unintentional injuries from any other cause. So it’s right to declare it a public health epidemic. And what that does, it frees up funding, and it provides a coordinated approach through federal agencies to really tackle this comprehensively.
No, we lose more than 45,000 to suicide (all methods), or about 30,000 from “gun suicides,” and another 15,000 to homicide. Conflating the two and pretending those can be addressed in the same manner is beyond insane. Further, let’s understand that the study claiming more “children” died from gun violence than any other cause included 18- and 19-year-olds in that category.
Guess who is more likely to be murdered in gang violence?
But that’s not all Brown called for Biden to do. She also called for the administration to pin down just who is a gun dealer and who isn’t. On this one, I actually don’t disagree. As it is now, the definition is vague and someone may well be liquidating their own collection only to have the ATF decide they’re not a gun dealer arbitrarily.
Brown also wants Biden to create a White House office for “gun violence prevention.”
Would such an office actually do anything? Probably not. It wouldn’t have any authority that doesn’t already rest with the executive branch and would really be little more than a salve for anti-gun groups.
But it would also be a waste of money.
Finally, Brown wants the Biden administration to crack down on illegal guns. She wants prosecution of those who purchase or try to purchase guns illegally.
This is actually one of those things that I think both sides can come together on, truthfully. While I think we have too many gun laws as it is, I’d much rather we direct our attention toward those who are breaking current laws than trying to create new ones that those same people will break.
Brown’s ask isn’t as bad as it could be, truth be told. I’m automatically skeptical, though, because this is Brady we’re talking about here. There’s no reason to believe that these won’t somehow morph into legitimate problems, even those where I think we could probably find some actual common ground.
In short, I don’t trust Brown or Brady to keep the focus narrow.
What is interesting is that they’re on the cusp of this big win with the Senate deal and they can’t stop asking for more. It’s another reason to believe that they’ll never be satisfied and will keep nibbling away at our gun rights until there’s absolutely nothing left of them.