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Why Biden’s Latest Gun Control Push Will Backfire Too

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Preparing for the 2024 election while losing ground in debt ceiling negotiations and suffering a student loan loss, President Biden has a lot on his plate—too much at this point in his political career. And, yet, one of America’s worst presidents in recent memory can still find time to beat a dead horse: Gun control.

Over a year since the tragic Uvalde, Texas shooting, Biden claims “it’s time to act.” In his words: “It’s time to make our voices heard. Not as Democrats or Republicans. But as friends, as neighbors, as parents, as fellow Americans.”

Alright, Joe. Please lecture Americans on unity mere days after proclaiming “white supremacy” the most dangerous threat to our republic. Please lay siege to the moral high ground and demand agreement, when most Americans are already united—united in their disapproval of the Biden administration.

Biden’s approval rating can’t crack 40 percent these days, weakened further by his stunningly incompetent negotiations with Congress. It doesn’t help that nearly two-thirds of Americans (including four in 10 Democrats) are concerned about Biden’s mental fitness.

Issue after issue, the Biden Administration receives failing marks, with just one-third of U.S. adults claiming they support the president’s handling (read: butchering) of the economy. When only 24 percent of Americans believe that national economic conditions are in good shape, what does it say about the man “in charge”?

We’re supposed to care when Biden complains about so-called “assault weapons” now? Barely 30 percent of Americans approve of the president’s performance when it comes to gun policy, and yet he has the temerity to lecture the masses.

If anything, Biden’s unpopularity is only hurting his left-wing cause, with support for an assault weapons ban actually dropping in recent months. Assault weapons bans are so unpopular that even in my home state of Colorado, where Democrats have a super-majority in the State House, a near super-majority in the State Senate, and a radical leftist governor in Jared Polis, they were unable to garner the votes necessary to pass a ban of their own.

It begs the question: Why is Biden pushing gun control now, rather than when his party controlled both the House and Senate? Because Democrats understand that infringing on the Second Amendment is the third rail of politics. Biden and his allies know that he can’t get the votes to get anything passed, so he is simply exploiting the issue for election-year politics, much like his former boss.

But let’s put public opinion aside for a second. Let’s consider the U.S. Constitution, which clearly and unequivocally reaffirms the right to bear arms, no matter how much Biden Democrats despise our founding documents. The federal government does not have the authority to restrict gun ownership in this country—not under Biden’s watch, not ever. The Second Amendment is absolute.

But, even accepting that truth as truth, let’s even put aside Second Amendment considerations for a second too. Would gun control have stopped the Uvalde shooting? Was that the key takeaway from a truly tragic event?

No, and no. The Uvalde massacre came down to police inaction. It was a law enforcement failure, with police officers waiting in the hallway as trapped children made desperate 911 calls. As an investigation into the police response continues, it is clear that law enforcement waited more than an hour to confront the gunman, shirking any and every responsibility to local citizens, and horrifically so. The police utterly failed, and the consequences were catastrophic.

If anything, however, the Uvalde failure reminds Americans that the best solution to the problem—a bad guy with a gun—is obvious: A good guy with a gun. In this case, if the police had adequately responded and used their own force (read: guns) to defend innocent children, many lives would have been saved, if not all. Police officers could have used their guns to take down the gunman before it was too late, and yet they didn’t.

The right to bear arms could have saved lives, but it didn’t—due to ineptitude, not the Second Amendment’s irrelevance. The Second Amendment could have saved the day, but it didn’t because the good guys were outdone by a bad guy. That isn’t an indictment of federal gun laws. It is just further, unfortunate proof that unarmed civilians—or inept police officers—are no match for armed shooters.

Biden can keep twisting the facts or making up his own, but it won’t make gun control a winning strategy. Nor will it help him in 2024, not when tens of millions of Americans are ready for a change in leadership. For Biden Democrats, the Uvalde anniversary is just another missed opportunity.

Ted Harvey serves as chairman of the Committee to Defeat the President.

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