President Joe Biden ran on a gun control platform, the most radical such platform we’ve ever seen from a candidate. As a result of that platform, though, a lot of people backed him. Particularly anti-Second Amendment groups that expect to see a return on their investment.
And so far, they figure they got a big fat nothing.
Now, they’re urging Biden to bypass Congress entirely.
With Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives lacking any viable path to confirmation, gun violence survivors and activists are pushing the president to create a White House office of gun violence headed by a Cabinet-level aide.
In a letter sent to Biden Wednesday, four advocacy groups complained that his actions on guns “fall significantly short of the promises you yourself made while running for the presidency” and have not been a priority as 28,000 Americans died from gun violence this year.
“Your administration is hard at work pursuing important priorities from infrastructure reform to reducing the disastrous impacts of climate change,” according to the letter obtained by POLITICO. “But with rising gun deaths and the heightened threat of armed political extremism, gun violence can no longer be seen as a back burner issue.”
Against the backdrop of David Chipman’s nomination to lead ATF languishing in the Senate, the groups asked Biden to establish a White House office to be led by an aide who does not need Senate confirmation, similar to Biden’s White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy. They also called on Biden to use his political capital to urge lawmakers to pass gun laws and the bully pulpit to sell Americans on reforms.
Sure, because Biden’s lack of movement on gun control in the Senate is really just about the fact that he hasn’t tried hard enough.
Look, these people need to chill. While I’m not a fan of the president and likely never will be, the truth of the matter is that he’s really doing everything he can reasonably be expected to do if you’re someone who thinks the only real answer to so-called gun violence is gun control.
If you don’t, then clearly he’s doing all the wrong stuff, but these groups don’t share that thinking. They want gun control and they resent the hell out of the fact that Biden can’t make Republicans back gun control.
“But he talked them into the infrastructure bill!”
Yes, he did. However, infrastructure isn’t gun control. While the bill wasn’t popular with the GOP base, there were still things within the bill that will likely play well enough.
Gun control doesn’t have that. It’s gun control. The Republican base will eviscerate candidates who back gun control bills. Biden can’t change that fact. Even trying to use the bully pulpit will only get him so far. I mean, most news agencies have a pronounced anti-gun lean. If that isn’t enough, Biden stumbling through speeches and press conferences isn’t going to change that.
Sorry, but he’s really doing all he can to pass gun control.
Maybe the time is now to see if there are ways to address violent crime that don’t involve gun control, ways we might be able to find common ground on.
But that won’t happen, so now they want the president to go around Congress, simply because they can’t get what they want through the legislature.
What’s more, Biden will probably do it. After all, it’s not like he’s shown a lot of respect for the Constitution after almost nine months in office, so why would he suddenly change his tune now?
He shouldn’t, though. Someone on his staff has to know that anything he does unilaterally can be undone by the next Republican president, and there will be a next Republican president. They’ll unmake it and all of that time and effort will be wasted.
But at least the usual suspects will feel like they got their money’s worth, which is all that really matters to them.