Biden chokes up the same tired talking points against guns again …
(AP photo / Evan Vucci)
President Joe Biden took the podium last week to address the rise in crime in several major metropolitan areas that also happen to be led by the Democrats with tight gun control laws. Rather than propose real solutions to tackle criminal violence by law breakers, the president made false claims about the firearms industry and the criminal abuse of weapons.
For the millions of Americans who are legally exercising their second amendment rights, including more than 8.4 million first-time gun buyers in 2020, watching the president’s comments have been déjà vu again.
A White Whale Gun Control wish list
Pres. Biden continues to campaign for an ambitious gun control agenda as Americans recognize the vital importance of the second amendment. Crime is rising across the country as last year saw the peak of the coronavirus pandemic and economic uncertainty, the lockdown of communities, and the riots and violent looting that devastated businesses and livelihoods.
All of this happened while calls for “police discovery” were being made in the same cities, the side effect of which was an increase in police retirement. With limited police force and fewer opportunities for community security, Americans turned to buying their own firearms, unsurprisingly.
The President drew broad lines. “We discussed a comprehensive strategy that I am releasing today to tackle the epidemic of gun violence and other violent crimes that we have seen in our country for far too long and that has increased since the pandemic began over a year ago.”
He may have forgotten, but then-Vice President Biden and President Barack Obama held the levers of power from 2009 to 2011 with a Democratic-controlled US Senate and US House of Representatives. Her continued narratives of the “gun lobby” and the “gun industry” stifling real solutions fall flat.
Instead, the president only offered to overhaul his tired gun control policy. These included the expansion of background checks that led to a national gun ownership register, the implementation of warning signals without adequate procedures and safeguards through the second amendment, the ban on the most popular guns, the regulation of unproven “smart weapons” technology and the solicitation of the US Senate to confirm unqualified paid guns control advocate David Chipman, who heads the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) which the president claims is “eminently qualified” to run the agency.
It was his next suggestion that came as a bit of a surprise. President Biden again called for “a lifting of liability protection for arms manufacturers”. He means repealing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), a bipartisan law passed in 2005 to protect members of the firearms industry from a spate of baseless lawsuits against them for the criminal use of legally sold products.
NEW: President Biden says getting Congress to end the immunity gun manufacturers have from being sued for shootings is a top priority.
“Most people don’t know: the only industry in America … that can’t be sued … is gun manufacturers.” Https://t.co/mpoBwuDoyd
– CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) April 8, 2021
When the president made the same announcement from the Rose Garden two months ago, claiming that the arms industry had “blanket immunity,” media outlets like the Washington Post, Politifact and even CNN misrepresented his claims.
Perception vs. Reality
Announcing his new restrictions and raids on law-abiding gun ownership, the president said, “These types of reforms have overwhelming support from the American people, including gun owners.” He continued, “The last time we had data on who was buying guns was 20 years ago.”
These are both clearly false statements. Polls by Gallup, Washington Post / Ipsos, USA Today, and others show a dramatic decline in support for more gun control to its lowest level in years. And who is legally buying guns? We know 8.4 million Americans did this for the first time in 2020.
. @ POTUS gets another FALSE rating, again. He often makes false statements about # 2A and guns while advancing his gun control agenda on RT PolitiFact | Joe Biden gets the story of the second amendment wrong, which restricts gun ownership @NSSF https://t.co/XJ3P1Ezhlt
– Larry Keane (@lkeane) June 28, 2021
40 percent of the more than 23 million purchases last year went to women. African Americans bought 58 percent more firearms than last year. Asian-Americans did this with a 43 percent higher clip. Hispanic Americans also performed at 40 percent. The arms industry tracks this data every year and does not rely on statistics that are two decades old.
At the introduction of President Biden, US Attorney General Merrick Garland launched the “gun violence” announcement by saying that they were running “evidence-based” programs to resolve the problem.
The arms industry agrees but has implemented Real Solutions with a track record that should be repeated. The NSSF-led FixNICS campaign has resulted in 16 states and the federal government aligning themselves better with federal agencies, significantly increasing the number of unaffordable and convicted mental health records in the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to ensure that Firearms remain out of the hands of those who cannot legally buy them.
Don’t Lie for the Other Guy is training local arms dealers to reduce illegal “straw purchases”, and Operation Secure Store is helping these dealers identify vulnerabilities and better secure their inventory to prevent gun theft. Project ChildSafe has partnered with more than 15,000 local law enforcement agencies to provide more than 40 million free firearm safety kits, including trigger cable locks, to help reduce accidental firearm accidents at home.
These efforts, as well as partnerships with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, have resulted in the lowest number of accidental gun deaths in more than 100 years since data was first collected in 1903.
These are laudable initiatives. Unfortunately, the President decides to push dubious solutions to the very serious criminal community gun violence problems that are so widespread across the country today.
Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel to the National Shooting Sports Foundation.