- President Biden’s “gun violence initiatives” are causing quite a stir with gun owners.
- President Biden’s track record on gun control since the early ’90s has left most proponents of the Second Amendment with little more than distrust and disdain for the president’s gun violence initiatives.
- Executive actions taken during the Obama administration seemed to have little to no effect upon gun violence overall.
Leading up to Biden’s presidential inauguration, one aspect of his presidential campaign that caused quite a stir with gun owners was his proposal of “gun violence initiatives.” The Second Amendment has long been recognized by proponents of the Constitution as what underwrites and protects the First Amendment.
The First Amendment guards vigilantly over all kinds of civil rights that fall under the following categories: speech, religion, press, assembly, and the right to petition the government with grievances. It’s no wonder that gun owners in the United States are up in arms right now about the effects that the newly elected Commander in Chief’s gun violence initiatives could have on their Second Amendment rights.
What Are the Details of Biden’s Gun Violence Initiatives?
What exactly are the gun violence initiatives in question? They are specific legislative and regulatory actions outlined and detailed in “The Biden Plan to End Our Gun Violence Epidemic” gun safety plan.
Many of these proposals in Biden’s plan sound reasonable enough at first glance, so why would these gun violence initiatives give anyone pause or cause for concern? Let’s take a closer look at a few points in his plan.
Consider the Unintended Consequences
One concern in the gun violence initiative agenda is holding ‘gun manufacturers accountable.’ Presumably, holding them responsible for the actions of people who obtain the guns. No matter where you stand on this initiative morally in terms of who should be held accountable, it would set a legal precedent with potential danger to other industries, creating a slippery judicial slope.
For example, can you imagine the implications for this type of action in affecting the manufacturers and distributors of alcohol? What if breweries, wineries, and distilleries were held legally responsible for their consumers’ adverse actions?
According to CDC statistics, “Excessive alcohol use is responsible for more than 95,000 deaths in the United States each year, or 261 deaths per day.” The same institution cites firearm-related deaths at 39,740 in 2018 with similar numbers for 2019 and slightly higher numbers around 41,000 for 2020.
Additionally, those firearm death numbers include a portion from the statistically reported self-defense incidents using a firearm that ranges broadly from around 60,000 to 2.5 million annually, depending on the analytics source. With excessive alcohol-related deaths constituting more than double the number of firearm-related deaths, it might be a logical next step in terms of similar legal action. Then there’s the automobile industry, and so forth.
The point is that people are concerned about potential unintended consequences resulting from President Biden’s gun control initiatives.
Another Clinton Era Style Gun Ban Could be Coming
What about the second initiative, get weapons of war off our streets? The Biden gun safety manifesto states, he “will enact legislation to ban assault weapons once again.” This time, the bans will be designed based on lessons learned from the 1994 bans.
For example, the ban on assault weapons was designed to prevent manufacturers from circumventing the law by making minor changes that don’t limit the weapon’s lethality. While working to pass this legislation, Biden will also use his executive authority to ban the importation of assault weapons.” There are a couple of details worth highlighting in this statement.
First of all, history shows that criminal gun violence continued to rise after the ban was implemented in 1994 with little to no demonstrable positive effects from the assault weapons ban legislation. Secondly, the gun ban created unnecessary hardship and job loss within the firearm and firearm accessories industries.
To make matters worse, the vast majority of owners and collectors of the types of firearms affected by the ban were law-abiding citizens who had never committed a felony. This was demonstrated by their ability to pass a standard mandatory background check, which was required to purchase a firearm. Despite gun control advocates’ feelings, facts lead Second Amendment proponents to conclude that bans like the one from 1994 are simply infringements upon Constitutional rights.
Common Sense Gun Control or Senseless Infringement?
Let’s take a look at one more of the president’s gun control initiatives for good measure. The third item on the list is to keep guns out of dangerous hands. That sounds like a positive, common-sense safety measure. Well, yes, until you read about the specific standards listed underneath that initiative heading.
For instance, one of the bullet-pointed measures is detailed as “Reinstate the Obama-Biden policy to keep guns out of the hands of certain people unable to manage their affairs for mental reasons, which President Trump reversed.”
The trouble is that “unable to manage their affairs for mental reasons” leaves a lot of room for interpretation, and it’s very open-ended in terms of the permanency of such rulings regarding the mental health of individuals.
For example, this could potentially lead to scenarios in which mothers who have a record of dealing with postpartum depression temporarily after the birth of a child, or veterans who received therapy for PTSD upon returning from active duty, are indiscriminately robbed forever of their Second Amendment rights when further consideration may have demonstrated that they were competent and capable of owning a firearm. These are examples of unintended consequences that a large portion of the public is afraid of.
President Biden’s track record on gun control since the early ’90s has left most proponents of the Second Amendment with little more than distrust and disdain for the president’s gun violence initiatives. The president’s gun safety treatise introductory emphasized,
“Joe Biden has taken on the National Rifle Association (NRA) on the national stage and won – twice. In 1993, he shepherded through Congress the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, which established the background check system that has since kept more than three million firearms out of dangerous hands. In 1994, Biden and Senator Dianne Feinstein secured 10-year bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. As president, Joe Biden will “defeat the NRA again.”
As such, the NRA also constitutes a protector of American civil rights in general. This is why, for many Second Amendment supporting Americans, the president’s gun violence initiative to “defeat the NRA again” cannot be embraced. The “Biden Plan to End Our Gun Violence Epidemic” also touts the president’s aptitude for quelling gun violence via executive action stating,
“Joe Biden also knows how to make progress on reducing gun violence using executive action. After the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, President Obama tasked Vice President Biden with developing legislative proposals and executive actions to make our communities safer. As a result of this effort, the Obama-Biden Administration took over two dozen actions, including narrowing the so-called “gun show loophole,” increasing the number of records in the background check system, and expanding funding for mental health services.”
Despite the statement mentioned above, executive actions taken during the Obama administration seemed to have little to no effect upon gun violence overall.
Why This Matters
It is not my intention at this time to offer an exhaustive critique of the president’s gun violence initiatives, but suffice to say, the abbreviated analysis provided here is illustrative of the general regard for the initiatives held by a large portion of the population. American people of all faiths, ethnicities, sexual orientations and income levels hold dear the freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment.
With the Second Amendment standing strong for more than two centuries as the last bastion against tyranny and authoritarian control in our constitutional republic, President Biden, as well as his colleagues and supporters, might want to rethink their approach to designing and implementing the president’s plan in the area of gun control.
At the very least, they would be wise to consider the fact that millions of American citizens do not trust their government in this area, nor do they believe that those in seats of power have their best interests at heart. It’s no wonder that these gun violence initiatives have many people up in arms.
Josh is a faith and culture writer with ThinkCivics. He attended seminary through Rock of Ages Baptist Bible Institute out of Cleveland, TN. He has held about every position one could hold in a local church: Sunday school teacher, Children’s Church Preacher, Bus Ministry Director/Worker, Missions Director, Choir Director, Song Leader, Janitor, etc. In October of 2005, he was ordained as an Assistant Pastor at Rest Haven Baptist Church, and that’s where he served until God called him into the Pastorate at Enon Baptist Church in Alto, GA at the age of 32. He stepped out by faith in obedience to God’s instructions and quickly received a call from Blessed Hope Baptist Church in Free Home, GA where he now serves as Pastor. In his free time, Josh enjoys spending quality time with his wife (who is his high school sweetheart) and three children: Zoey, Ava, and Jack, as well as reading, writing, hunting, cooking, weight lifting, and martial arts.