America is hurting.
Tensions are high. Coming together and having meaningful dialogue seem impossible. People are tired of politics creeping into everyday life. Worst of all, self-righteous "unifiers" uninterested in unity continue to fan the flames of division.
Is it too difficult to set aside our differences, to lower the temperature, and to demand better from elected officials? It shouldn’t be.
For instance, healing will take a backseat should the incoming Biden administration and Democrat-controlled Congress pursue aggressive gun control policies. Why? Democrats, Republicans, and independents don’t want to lose their Second Amendment rights.
In the spirit of healing and unity, President-elect Joe Biden and his Congressional backers should reconsider this push.
Here’s What Biden’s Campaign Pledged to Do
In a recent statement commemorating the tenth anniversary of the Tucson mass shooting, the president-elect vowed this, “As President, I pledge to continue to work together with Congresswoman Giffords, and with survivors, families, and advocates across the country, to defeat the NRA and end the epidemic of gun violence in America.”
During the 2020 campaign, Biden pledged executive action to further regulate firearms and ammunition.
His campaign openly touted the repeal of Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, reviving a federal assault weapons ban, universal background checks, federal gun buy-back programs, extreme risk protection orders (red flag laws), banning online sales of firearms and ammunition and to “give states incentives to set up gun licensing programs,” among publicly listed policy proposals.
Are Democrats in agreement with his plan? Surprisingly, many aren’t warming up to Biden’s gun control policies either.
One labor organizer wrote in the Washington Post, “Biden’s plan falls into a long line of government efforts to disarm the working class while keeping the lanes clear for the privileged who can afford whatever legal curveballs are thrown their way.”
She concluded, “This divisive plan will do little to curb gun violence, and will instead hammer home the vast inequalities still dividing this nation.”
None of the aforementioned policies would eliminate crime. They would make it increasingly difficult for law-abiding Americans to purchase firearms and related components. Worse, his plan would criminalize law-abiding Americans. Scary.
In a time of uncertainty, people need leaders to look up to. Treading down this path won’t boost morale nor restore trust. It’ll deliver the opposite.
Bad Gun Bills Being Mulled in the 117th Congress
It shouldn’t surprise readers to see Congressional Democrats introduce gun control bills in the House Judiciary Committee.
With the Senate adjourned until January 19th, firearms-related bills have yet to be introduced there—but are expected.
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) introduced a slew of bills echoing policies listed on the president-elect’s campaign website.
H.R. 125 would mandate a “7-day waiting period before a semiautomatic firearm, a silencer, armor piercing ammunition, or a large capacity ammunition magazine may be transferred.” The long wait period could be the difference between life and death for gun owners or concealed handgun permit holders in urgent need of a firearm for protection.
H.R. 127 would “provide for the licensing of firearm and ammunition possession and the registration of firearms, and to prohibit the possession of certain ammunition.” If heard and passed, this would create unnecessary obstacles to legal firearms ownership and infringe on Second Amendment rights.
H.R.130 would mandate “safe storage of firearms and ammunition, and to require the investigation of reports of improper storage of firearms or ammunition.” Law-abiding gun owners already practice safe storage and the latter stipulation will be abused by anti-gun lawmakers.
Gun Control Push Ignores Surge in Firearms Ownership
Surging interest in firearms ownership could correspond with a rejection of gun control policies going forward.
Of those first-time buyers, 40 percent are women. And now, records continue to be shattered — with both Republicans and Democrats purchasing firearms in wake of the January 6th Capitol siege.
Following last summer’s riots and heightened concerns about personal safety, Americans are abandoning their past misgivings about firearms. So should the incoming Biden administration and their supporters in Congress.
In December, the Associated Press cautioned against gun control wishcasting, writing, “And regardless the outcome in two Senate races in Georgia that will determine which party holds the majority in that chamber, it will be a tall order to get a majority of lawmakers on board.”
Indeed. With a 50-50 split in the U.S. Senate and narrow Democrat majority in the House of Representatives, gun control would further divide—not unite—our country.
If President-elect Biden wants to “build back better,” he should ditch his gun control plans.