“I will meet with Congress on guns, I promise you,” President Biden said today.
“There’s an expression by an Irish poet that says too long a suffering makes a stone of the heart,” President Joe Biden told visiting New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today at the White House.
President Biden has, by his estimation, been to the aftermath of more mass shootings than any other President in history.
“We need your guidance,” Mr. Biden told Prime Minister Ardern frankly, referring to New Zealand’s success in outlawing guns after the gun massacre in Christchurch in 2019. “You understand that your leadership has taken a critical role on this global change, it really has.”
Biden has spent time in meeting with the families of those slain in the Uvalde and Buffalo mass shootings since last week.
“Much of it is preventable,” President Biden said of the ongoing violence. “And the devastation is amazing.”
House Democrats appear to on-board with Biden’s plans to tighten gun restrictions. Members of Congress have already drafted eight gun control bills in the last week.
The package of bills, which House Democrats are calling “Protecting Our Kids,” includes, among other measures, a ban on high-capacity magazines and bump stocks. The bills aim to raise the age to purchase semi-automatic weapons from 18 to 21 and mandate proper firearm storage in private homes. “Protecting Our Kids,” also includes increased penalties for gun trafficking.
President Biden is also getting at least some support for gun control from across the aisle. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has signaled support for some restrictions.
While there is still likely to be plenty of pushback on gun control, popular sentiment, at least on Twitter and in polls, seems to be shifting in favor of tightening restrictions on guns. On the other hand, more Americans bought guns in 2020 and 2021 than ever before.
Do Democrats have the support for gun control?
Does anyone really need semi-automatic weapons?
Rigorous adherents to their treasured Second Amendment rights often point out that it is the government, under the Constitution, that they are to be prepared to fight. Fancying themselves as a sort-of minute-man militia, the last bastion against tyranny and oppression, these would-be soldiers of fortune might enjoy a spot of weekend warrior from time to time, but they are kidding themselves.
As President Biden recently observed on that topic, anyone thinking to challenge the full force and power of the U.S. government and its military should think again, and again.
The U.S. government has nuclear weapons, among other things.
The U.S. government, military and intelligence complex is scary. So scary in fact, a Maryland nuclear submarine engineer offered to sell a Brazilian intelligence agency top-secret U.S. military secrets and Brazilian intelligence, very intelligently, said…“No.”
Brazilian authorities then turned the enterprising amateur spy into the FBI.
Brazil is an ally of the U.S. government; to be otherwise would be foolish in the extreme.
The militarization of U.S. police departments across the country, a slow march which occurred in the wake of the Gulf wars, long ago made the idea of a bunch of rubes remaking “Red Dawn” patently absurd.
That’s the movies.
You’re gonna need, as a wise man once observed in another movie, a much bigger boat.
The 2nd amendment isn’t going to save gun owners from the tyranny of the U.S. government, should that much power fall into the wrong hands.
What is indisputably falling into the wrong hands, and all too often, are guns, guns, and more guns.
How to keep guns out of the hands of criminals who want to murder innocent people, on the other hand, is a difficult question.
Conservatives are fond of changing the subject to improved mental health services, but this is a false dichotomy. As a nation, we can have both sensible gun laws and better mental health care.
That false dichotomy was at play during calls to “Defund the Police.” Advocates of defunding police departments claimed the need for better social services as the main driving cause but that wasn’t true.
Money to expand social services could have come from anywhere. Linking it to police budgets was about punishing police officers, not improving social services.
In truth, this nation needs a well-trained, diverse and experienced law enforcement workforce. The alternative, as is already happening in places which have moved to defund police departments, is that wealthy people and neighborhoods, big businesses and corporations will hire private security guards to protect themselves and their property.
Poorer neighborhoods, and neighbors, will be left to fend for themselves.
Along with that police force, we also need improved social services. Most police officers would be the first to admit it. From New York to LA, the rank and file would happily get behind any effort to reduce the shocking number of contacts police officers have with the same drug offenders, domestic violence victims, and those in the grips of mental illness or homelessness.
Perhaps this is less a time for gun control, or improving social services, and more a time to do whatever it takes to keep deadly guns out of the hands of criminals, like the ones who killed 10 people in Chicago over the weekend, injuring scores more in a rising tide of gun violence that is producing the equivalent of a mass shooting every week in the Windy City.
As the economy continues its downward trajectory, rising levels of poverty and crime aren’t going to lower the statistical likelihood of mass shootings. Far from it.
While commitment in Congress and in the country is strong, perhaps now is the right time to move on gun control.
(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)