President Joe Biden recently announced a series of executive orders regarding gun control, along with several suggestions for congressional and state-level legislation. Every last single legislative proposal is dead on arrival in the House and Senate. And the executive orders themselves are so ineffective and useless as to be laughable.
The other thing about these executive orders is that they directly place the issue of guns directly on the ballot in 2022. That’s a boon for Republicans heading into preparation for redistricting and the 2022 midterms.
Biden’s latest press conference was notable both for its useless proposals and propensity for lying. I spent part of my time looking back over what Biden said, and the White House communications team playing clean-up afterward, and imagining the press reaction had Donald Trump held a press conference like Biden.
Imagine for a moment the reaction of the press if Trump purposely lied about the law, invented issues that didn’t exist, and claimed he had the authority to trim down a constitutional right. The media would be apoplectic. It’s worth noting, too, none of those networks felt the need to fact-check Biden live during a speech like they did Trump. This is despite Biden either lying about the issue or being a complete idiot. Take your pick.
The biggest lie was also a perennial Democrat favorite: the “background check loophole at gun shows.” As Stephen Gutowski noted, Biden’s speech was a lie:
“Most people don’t know, you walk into a store and you buy a gun you have a background check,” Biden said in his speech at the White House. “But you go to a gun show, you can buy whatever you want and no background check.”
The reason no one knows that is because it’s not true. As Gutowski notes, “Federal law does not regulate gun sales based on where they occur. Instead, it regulates them based on who is involved in the sale. If a licensed gun dealer is selling a gun to a private citizen, the sale must go through a background check. Licensed dealers can and do sell guns at gun shows.”
Biden’s speech was full of items like that.
Other items, like his call for “banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines, repealing gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability, and investing in evidence-based community violence interventions,” don’t have a chance of passing the House or the Senate.
And for all the Biden White House’s use of the words “evidence-based” on various items, they skip over the fact there’s no evidence that an assault weapons ban would impact anything. This press conference was neither evidence-based nor based on truth. It was straight fearmongering on a subject where the media agrees with Biden.
But past that, the actual executive orders are the definition of fluff and pretending to do something.
The Biden administration is asking the Department of Justice to write up a model “red flag” law. A model law is an example that Congress or a state can choose to use or wholly ignore. And in the end, it’s something lobbying and special interest groups are likely to spend time writing too. Basically, it’s akin to writing a sternly worded letter.
Biden added a special section for minority communities the called for “investing in evidence-based community violence interventions. Community violence interventions are proven strategies for reducing gun violence in urban communities through tools other than incarceration,” he said.
Though the proposal identifies a surge in homicides everywhere, it is focusing on gun violence in minority communities more. And Black Americans have identified self-protection as the primary reason for becoming gun owners or planning to become one.
It’s a strange focus, because Black Americans have accounted for a massive surge in new gun owners. After the rioting from last summer and the heavy push from white progressives to “Defund the Police,” many Black Americans have pushed for more gun ownership. And now, as more of them are exercising that right, the Biden administration is targeting them specifically on the gun control front.
The only reason Joe Biden exists as president right now is that Black voters in South Carolina saved his capsizing campaign. If his plan on gun control is targeting these new gun owners, that would be a tacit betrayal of that moment when one voting bloc saved him. And it’s all coming from hyper-liberal whites living in cities and gated communities.
The more the gun rights movement grows and the more people own them, the less power the gun control lobby has long term. For decades, gun controllers have used ignorance and fear to attack guns. Given Biden’s age, he still plays from that playbook. But that world has changed and more people are joining the ranks of new gun owners.
It’s telling that Biden’s first foray into this topic is ineffectual, laughable, and based on lies from people running an old playbook. This is only the latest sign that the Biden administration is far less competent than its cheerleaders on the left and right believed it could be during the campaign. And it’s only April.