Many gun control advocates are disappointed in President Joe Biden.
According to The Hill, these advocates say that Biden’s response to a recent school shooting in Michigan was inadequate. They were also upset when Biden’s nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, David Chipman, withdrew.
Zeenat Yahya, deputy policy director at March for Our Lives, said: ”I think the biggest thing to highlight here is that the president has been a friend to the gun violence prevention (GVP) movement this year and we’re thankful, but frankly, he hasn’t really been a leader.
”We’re definitely surprised. We were really hopeful and he made a lot of promises. We are thankful for some of the actions the president has already taken but there is so much more he can do that’s a comprehensive top-to-bottom approach.”
Although Biden has issued executive orders on gun control, legislation to expand background checks was not passed in the Senate. The Hill added that while activists ”acknowledge the political roadblocks,” they are still disappointed and believe Biden could have applied more pressure on Congress regarding the issue.
Peter Ambler, executive director and co-founder of the gun control group Giffords, said that ”it is very difficult for any administration to sort of do enough in that context and I think indeed, we would like to see more from the Biden administration. What we need more than anything right now is a comprehensive strategy to deal with this reality, what is the plan?”
Fred Guttenberg, senior adviser of Brady PAC and father of a student killed in the 2018 Parkland, Florida, school shooting, said: ”Do I think they’ve done the most of any administration? It’s not enough.”
Regarding the Nov. 30 school shooting in Michigan, in which four students were killed, Guttenberg said that while Biden offered condolences, ”the failure to more dramatically acknowledge what happened in a public way was disappointing. I hope that that doesn’t happen again.”
Stef Feldman, a senior adviser to the domestic policy adviser at the White House, answered these critiques by saying that ”a comprehensive strategy is exactly what we have done in 2021 and we will continue to execute on it in the new year.”
She added that ”their strategy includes multiple agencies and addresses mass shootings, suicide, community violence, domestic violence, accidental shootings and family shootings, as well as the demand side of guns and holding dealers accountable,” The Hill reported.
Other gun control advocates, however, are pleased with the Biden administration’s work on the issue.
John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, argued that this administration has been the strongest on the issue, stating that ”from their work on stopping illegal gun trafficking with DOJ strike forces, to their strong proposed rule reining in ghost guns that we expect to be finalized any day now, to being strong advocates for a historic investment in community violence intervention programs in the American Rescue Plan, this administration has been a strong ally to the gun safety movement.
”This year was just the start and we expect more from the executive branch in 2022.”
Community Justice Action Fund (CJAF), a group that advocates ending community gun violence, praised the administration for funding community-based violence intervention programs.
CJAF’s executive director, Greg Jackson, said that ”community violence intervention programs work. Through executive action taken in April, the Biden administration changed 26 grants across five agencies to ensure these evidence-informed lifesaving programs are eligible to receive federal funding for the first time in history.”
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