U.S.A. — President Joe Biden remains “fully committed to further regulations on guns,” according to a recent report in The Advocate, but a statement from the White House following a deadly shooting at a mall in Allen, Texas suggests he is also committed to hypocrisy.
In a Briefing Room statement, Biden referred to the eight people killed in Allen and then said, “Jill and I are praying for their families and for others critically injured.”
However, as Business Insider noted, “Biden called out Republicans for sending ‘thoughts and prayers’ following the latest mass shooting, and called on members of Congress to pass gun-control bills.”
If Biden can do it, why can’t Republicans? Does the Oval Office have a monopoly on prayers for murder victims?
Whatever else Biden wants in during the remainder of his presidency, restrictive gun control and a ban on semi-auto rifles remains at the top of his wish list, The Advocate story indicated. Following the shooting in Allen, Biden made what has become a reflexive pitch for additional gun controls. He also wants to eliminate the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), which protects the firearms industry from junk lawsuits trying to hold gun makers responsible for crimes committed with their products.
As reported in the Business Insider article, “Biden noted that the Texas gunman wore tactical gear and was armed with an AR-15-style weapon.”
“Once again I ask Congress to send me a bill banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines,” Biden said in a prepared statement. “Enacting universal background checks. Requiring safe storage. Ending immunity for gun manufacturers…”
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Biden is “using his bully pulpit; he’s been very clear.”
Following the shooting, Biden dragged out the traditional gun control wish list. In a tweet, he spoke of a ban on so-called “assault weapons” and “high-capacity magazines,” universal background checks and a safe storage mandate. These are all things he has been wanting for years, long before the mall shooting in Allen.
If Congress were to deliver such legislation, Biden says he would “sign it immediately,” according to Politico.
But Congress does not appear inclined to accommodate the gun control president. While he’s been outspoken on the gun control issue, Biden has also acknowledged he has essentially done all he can, and that the ball is in Congress’ court.
Press reports about Biden’s inability to get the GOP-led House to cooperate on gun control routinely fail to mention two important points.
In a story published by the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) in June 2022, it is clearly explained, so that even a reporter can understand, “Nearly two decades ago the Department of Justice funded a study to analyze this very topic, and it concluded that the assault weapon prohibition had ‘mixed’ results.
“Researchers noted there was a decline in crimes committed with firearms classified as assault weapons,” the report acknowledged, “but noted ‘the decline in AW use was offset throughout at least the late 1990s by steady or rising use of other guns.’
“In other words,” the FEE article explained, “there was a decline in crimes committed with firearms that were banned, but the drop was replaced by crimes committed with other types of firearms that were not banned.
“While gun violence overall fell in the US during this period—just like many other countries around the world—the decline continued even after the Federal Assault Weapons Ban ended in 2004. Authors of the government-funded study plainly stated ‘we cannot clearly credit the ban with any of the nation’s recent drop in gun violence’ and any future reduction in gun violence as a result of the ban was likely ‘to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement.’”
Add to that a Rand report from earlier this year which noted, “we find inconclusive evidence for the effect of assault weapon bans on mass shootings,” and “we find limited evidence that high-capacity magazine bans reduce mass shootings.”
The second point is even more egregious because the White House and the media can easily look at the annual FBI Uniform Crime Reports, which consistently show that rifles of any kind are used in only a fraction of homicides in any given year. According to FBI data, far more people are murdered annually with knives or “personal weapons” (i.e. fists, feet, hands) than with rifles.
Possibly the biggest hypocrisy of all is that Biden, and his allies in Congress, are all protected by the same kinds of guns they want to ban for everyone else.