Candidate Joe Biden, when he bothered to venture forth from his Delaware basement to campaign, promised he would pursue vast new gun control measures.
At one point, he even pledged to bring on former Texas Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who infamously responded “Hell, yes, we are going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,” when asked during his brief presidential bid if he would take away Americans’ lawfully owned firearms.
Now, the Biden administration hasn’t brought Beto onboard yet, as White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki admitted to a reporter earlier this week. But that doesn’t mean Biden (well, okay, Biden’s handlers) aren’t moving ahead with their gun control agenda anyway.
In that same media briefing, Psaki made it clear that the president would certainly consider “executive action” on gun control if he couldn’t get any movement in Congress — which makes perfect sense, given that Biden has practically developed writer’s cramp from signing so many executive orders, as though he were king, since taking office.
It all started Sunday when Biden used the anniversary of the deadly Marjorie Stoneman Douglas shootings in Parkland, Fla., in 2018 to push for new gun laws.
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“We will take action to end our epidemic of gun violence and make our schools and communities safer,” Biden said.
“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,” he added.
What, pray tell, do “commonsense gun law reforms” mean, exactly, Psaki was asked, and will they pass both chambers of Congress.
“Well, we haven’t proposed a package at this point, so it’s hard for me to make a prediction about its likelihood of passing,” she began.
“But I will say that the president is somebody throughout his career who has advocated for smart gun safety measures,” she continued.
“He has not afraid of standing up to the NRA. He’s done it multiple times and won on background checks and a range of issues, and it is a priority to him on a personal level,” Psaki said before saying again that nothing specific is currently in the legislative pipeline.
Later, because while not all Democrats are mainstream media journalists all mainstream media journalists are Democrats, one of them asked if Biden would “take executive action” to dictate gun control.
Psaki responded that Biden has a “range of actions at his disposal” including legislation and executive orders and “hasn’t ruled out either of those options.”
But wait — how politically popular would that be? Sure, Democrats control both congressional chambers but barely (it’s a tie in the Senate). And, as the Washington Examiner notes, a lot of Americans bought a lot of guns last year — a lot of them for the very first time:
The number of background checks tied to the sale of firearms was 21 million in 2020, the highest year on record, said Mark Oliva, the public affairs director for the National Shooting Sports Foundation. The previous record was 2016, with 15.7 million checks.
“It’s fairly telling that the White House spokesperson Jen Psaki has been asked, ‘Where is the president on gun control?,’ and she has been noncommittal,” said Oliva.
“I think they’re very aware that 2020 was a precipitous change,” Oliva said. “Twenty-one million people voted with their wallets on how they feel about ownership. And eight-and-a half million people did that for the first time.”
“When you start talking about a 58 percent increase in African American gun ownership, and about 40 percent among women, I think that’s part of what they’re seeing,” he said.
None of that means Biden’s handlers won’t shove an executive order in front of him to sign. But for now, federal courts are still largely populated with President Donald Trump’s appointees, and the Supreme Court still leans towards the Constitution. As such, for now, the Second Amendment may be safe.