As we’ve discussed here on a regular basis, Joe Biden has set records for the number of executive orders issued by a president in their first weeks in office. Covering everything from immigration to labor unions, the phone and the pen have been burning up in Uncle Joe’s hands. But one subject has been notably absent from this flurry of mandates. Gun control groups are asking why Biden hasn’t taken any immediate action to clamp down on gun ownership and Second Amendment rights in general. Since he’s been so free with his proclamations on other matters, how is it that the new President hasn’t planted his flag on that particular hill? As the Free Beacon reported yesterday, two prominent anti-Second Amendment groups have some demands they expect to be met. Biden must (in their opinion) name a federal “gun czar” and declare a new state of emergency based on gun violence so funds can be made available to address the crisis.
Gun-control activists are accusing President Joe Biden of ignoring gun violence and endangering minorities.
Two leading gun-control groups delivered a list of demands to the Biden administration on Monday. March For Our Lives and the Community Justice Action Fund said Biden must appoint a “cabinet-adjacent” gun czar and declare an emergency to generate $1 billion in funding for gun-control initiatives. The groups said the Biden administration’s inaction has threatened minority communities. Greg Jackson, national advocacy director of Community Justice Action Fund, said gun violence is the “#1 cause of death for Black youth” and requires “urgent action” the Biden administration has yet to provide.
“CJAF has joined with our partners on the ground to demand that the Biden-Harris White House invest in saving lives,” Jackson said.
Allow me to just say up front that “Gun Czar” is about the coolest title I could imagine for a government office. If he can’t find anyone else, I’ll volunteer for the job if only to have some business cards printed. Of course, I don’t think Uncle Joe would care for my interpretation of the official duties of the office.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard suggestions like this, but I can only hope that Joe Biden is smart enough to steer clear of such ideas. Declaring a “state of emergency” to seize more executive power and allocate funds to infringe on the constitutional rights of citizens has to be near the top of the list of bad ideas to come down the pike in recent memory. Voters all across the country have already had a big helping of executive mandates in response to the pandemic and they’re not sitting well with a large portion of the country.
This is also a political loser. While plenty of people support ideas such as expanded background checks, gun bans or confiscation have never enjoyed majority support in this country. And as we’ve seen, with all of the protests and riots in the streets, gun sales are through the roof and there’s a massive waiting list for permit applications in many areas, including traditionally blue cities. Marching out a “gun czar” right now to announce that the authorities will be going door to door collecting people’s AR-15s could sink Joe Biden’s presidency before it even gets off the ground.
The coalition of gun control groups are demanding at least six new executive orders from Biden, including one that would outlaw some private sales of guns. I don’t know if they’ve bothered contacting a constitutional law attorney on this, but that sort of order would be so far outside the province of the executive branch that it would be immediately challenged and shot down in court. Such an imposition on private commerce would have to be done through Congress if it’s even possible. They also want the Justice Department to launch multiple investigations into the affairs of the National Rifle Association. That’s simply a barefaced attempt to use the powers of the executive branch to harass and punish your political enemies.
To be clear, there absolutely is a “gun crisis” in America, but it’s centered around our gang violence problem. And those are people who traffic almost entirely in unregistered, illegal weapons. They don’t go through background checks or obtain permits. Passing new laws to restrict the rights of people who actually obey the law will do absolutely nothing to alleviate our problems. Locking up gang members and getting illegal weapons off the streets will. But I don’t see anyone telling Joe Biden to issue some executive orders about that.
I’ll confess that there’s a part of me that almost wants to see Joe Biden bend a knee to these groups and try to meet their demands. The ensuing court battles could definitely blow up in their faces and do more damage to the gun control movement than the NRA could do in decades.