President Biden’s actions since taking office have included a raft of Executive Orders that seemed aimed mostly at trying to erase anything former President Trump did while in office. From scrapping the former president’s immigration policies, which dramatically reduced illegal border crossings, to re-instituting the individual mandate that imposes fines on Americans for not having healthcare insurance, Biden’s agenda, when it comes to his predecessor, could be summed up as “Like it never happened.”
President Biden has also called for a study to determine whether the detention facility at Guantanamo (GITMO) should be closed.
This is a throwback to a study that President Obama had also called for before going back on a solemnly made campaign promise that GITMO would be closed. President Biden will undoubtedly have to break his promise to close the facility after going through the motions.
One of Biden’s first Executive Actions as president was to stop work on the Keystone XL pipeline.
This order came at the direct expense of some 11,000 union jobs but was a sop to the environmental activist groups that had supported him. Biden tried to split the difference between his union and environmentalist backers by banning fracking on public but not on private lands. Biden did the same thing on oil and gas exploration leases. He didn’t ban new leases, which pleased the unions that were concerned a ban would cost many thousands of jobs, but he put them on “pause” giving hope to Green Deal activists that he might do so later on. It may seem crazy as you read it, but this how politics is done in a party of competing and often adversarial special interest groups like the Democrat Party.
These actions by the president reflect his trying to make good on promises he made to groups on the Left that supported him in the election. And now these groups want what he promised them while he pretends to try and deliver.
Most recently, President Biden issued a statement calling on Congress to pass “common sense” gun control regulations that would go well beyond anything that could be called sensible:
“Today, I am calling on Congress to enact commonsense gun law reforms, including requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and eliminating immunity for gun manufacturers who knowingly put weapons of war on our streets.”
This tactic is the kicker that seals up any suspicion that Biden is simply pandering to his base. But the byproduct of what the president is calling for here is the effective end of gun ownership in the United States.
Banning so-called “assault weapons” on the basis of one being used at the Parkland Shooting would be the basis for banning the next entire class of weapons when one of those is used in the next shooting. Allowing lawsuits against firearms manufacturers for making a gun used in a crime would simply put them out of business which is the obvious intention here. Imagine the result if General Motors and Seagrams could be sued because a Chevy Tahoe was being driven by a drunk driver in a fatal accident. And banning an entire class of firearms, which would include more than just the AR platform, is another sure job killer on par with the Keystone XL shutdown.
So what is the actual intention here? I think it is to pay off the anti-gun groups that backed Biden’s campaign with money and support.
Staunch gun control advocate and failed presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg spent $100 million dollars in support for Biden just in Florida. Bloomberg puts another $60 million a year into his own anti-gun group, “Everytown For Gun Safety” whose agenda mirrors that of President Biden. That isn’t coincidental. But these extreme gun control measures presented as “common sense” have little chance of passing. The legislative trend in the U.S., on the state level, has been for less gun control, not more, and there is nothing to prevent states like New York, California, and Illinois from enacting these draconian measures on their own if they think they would survive Constitutional scrutiny, which they most likely would not.
President Biden pretending to make good on promises he can’t really keep is also demonstrated by the demand that National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) background checks be done on every firearm purchase. The problems with the NICS system are well known and go back decades. The system requires state courts, local sheriffs, the military branches, and hospitals to all file reports of serious crimes and mental problems that would prohibit the purchase of a firearm at the points of sale.
The problem is that they don’t do so on a massive scale.
It is estimated that as many as five million serious crimes, like violent felonies, and court adjudicated findings of mental incompetence are not in the NICS system. Millions of people who should not have firearms will just sail right through the background checks President Biden wants. President Biden has been in politics for nearly 50 years, he knows this. What is conspicuously missing from his “common sense” gun control proposals is making the NICS airtight. If you really wanted to keep guns out of the wrong hands, you would do that first, because many of these mass shootings are the result of the NICS system missing a dangerous person.
In 2014, Eduardo Sencion walked into an IHOP in California, gunned down four people, and wounded seven others. Three of the dead were National Guardsmen. Sencion, who was 32 at the time, had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia at 18. He had once been picked up by the police and involuntarily committed to a mental institution. None of that was reported to NICS because a conflicting federal law did not consider an involuntary committal grounds for a report to the system.
Mental health records that would have flagged Seung-Hui Cho prior to his gun purchase might have saved 32 people at Virginia Tech in 2017.
Also in 2017, Devin Patrick Kelley would have been barred from buying a firearm if his domestic violence conviction while in the Air Force had been reported to the NICS system. Instead, 26 people were massacred by him in a church in Sutherland Springs Texas.
In reference to the 2018 Parkland Highschool Shooting that President Biden sought to memorialize in his statement announcing his gun control plans, the majority of the blame lies with the state for not acting on repeated warnings.
Nikolas Jacob Cruz had near-constant behavior issues since middle school. These had manifested as violent threats against other students and faculty. He was moved between six schools in the three years prior to the shooting. Psychiatrists had recommended involuntary commitment for Cruz with no success. The Florida Department of Children and Families investigated Cruz for self-mutilation and statements about wanting to purchase guns. Nothing happened. Between 2008 and 2017, the Broward County Sheriff’s Department had handled some 45 calls to the Cruz home for domestic disturbances. Some calls had even included fears that Cruz was going to shoot up a school. Again nothing happened. Finally, the FBI received a tip two days before the shooting about Cruz’s possible intentions to act. The FBI Tip Line should have forwarded it to the Miami Field Office for investigation. It failed to.
In the above case, time and again the government, from school boards, to state health facilities, to state and federal law enforcement agencies failed to act to protect the public. And in that failure, Cruz obtained firearms killed 17 children and wounded another 17. Since the horrible shooting, not a single agency has admitted to any failure on its part. In fact, both the School Board and Sheriff’s Office stand accused of trying to cover up their incompetence and non-action.
As of 2021, the 17 murder charges against Cruz from 2018 are still tied up in the court system.
It seems a bit tone-deaf for the current president to think that the solution for failures by the state to protect innocent lives lies in punishing those who go about their lives peaceably and lawfully.
Banning the most popular class of firearms in the country, trying to bankrupt firearms makers, and demanding that a misfiring NICS system be used on all purchases may be Biden trying to pay off the elements from the Left that put him in office.
But it’s anything but common sense.