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Reagan Had it Right, Biden Not So Much

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President Joe Biden said it again. Given another term, he’ll do gun control. This time, he’s grotesquely dismissive of the high price of freedom that has been paid with the lives of those who fought and died to preserve American independence. Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Bill of Rights, famously wrote, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

President Biden told the “Smartless” podcast, according to Breitbart, that he will “make sure that we do something about gun violence in this country” should he be elected for a second term, adding, “this — the [tree of] liberty is watered with the blood of patriots, I mean, that’s a bunch of crap.”

President Biden specifically took aim at re-enacting the failed 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, that even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention admitted had no effect on crime reduction. He reiterated his disproven claims about “cannon control” and again placed himself as the pre-eminent Second Amendment authority, despite the U.S. Supreme Court clearly establishing the Second Amendment as a right of individual Americans.

It’s a mantra that would be easy to dismiss if it weren’t for all the gun control he’s already implemented by bypassing Congress and abusing his executive authority to attack the firearm industry.

Punishing Second Amendment Freedom

He targets “rogue” gun dealers, when even his own Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) officials published data showing they’re not the problem. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Volume Three of the National Firearms Commerce and Trafficking Assessment show just 0.1 percent of all federal firearms licensees were implicated in allegedly illegal firearm trafficking between 2017 and 2021.

President Biden’s Commerce Department published a punishing Interim Final Rule through the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) and slapped on new firearm export restrictions that have the intent of hobbling U.S. firearm manufacturers and exporters. The administration grasped at straws to justify it for national security reasons but it also belies ATF data. The ATF’s National Firearm Commerce and Trafficking Assessment shows less than one percent of legally exported firearms are ever traced in connection with a crime taking place in a foreign country.

Recently, Everytown for Gun Safety’s President John Feinblatt boasted of his gun control organization’s collusion with the White House’s office of Gun Violence Prevention, staffed by his former employee Rob Wilcox, and the City of Chicago to bring a frivolous and harassing lawsuit against Glock. The handgun maker is renowned for their product’s reliability and Feinblatt and others are upset because Glock refuses to change their handgun designs because criminals illegally alter them by affixing auto-sears – what ATF calls “machinegun conversion devices (MCD) -that are illegal to import, make, possess and install on a firearm. A dozen Democrat state attorneys general are threatening to sue, as is Hawaii.

The goal is to overturn the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), the law that prohibits frivolous lawsuits against the firearm industry for the harm caused by remote third parties. To more easily understand that, “remote third parties” is legal-speak for criminals. Feinblatt, President Biden and the Congressional gun control cabal want to return to the days of the late 1990’s and early 2000’s when unscrupulous trial lawyers in shiny suits in concert with gun control groups paraded a series of failing lawsuits to drain firearm manufacturers of funds with claims that were never successful.

That wasn’t the point, though. Disgraced former New York Gov. Anderw Cuomo served as the Housing and Urban Development Secretary under President Bill Clinton and infamously threatened the firearm industry with “death by a thousand cuts.” The objective was to bring the industry to its knees and force through court-ordered settlements gun control measures rejected by Congress or ratchet up the cost of litigation and shutter the industry through bankruptcy. Nothing changed.

Look to Another American President

It’s time to reject this mentality. There was a time in this nation when Americans shrugged off the collective blame that society shoulders responsibility for the ills that plague us and focused instead on holding criminals accountable. Instead of listening to the 46th President of the United States, America should recall the words of the 40th President.

“We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker,” President Ronald Reagan said. “It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.”

President Reagan delivered those remarks to the Republican National Convention in Miami in 1968. Those words are as fitting today as they were over a half century ago.

President Biden, with the help of gun control cronies, wants to shift the blame for criminals misusing firearms to snatch that Constitutionally-protected right from every American. Together, they’re doing it through executive fiat, judicial abuse and regulatory overreach. They’ve gone so far as to create an office within The White House that is structured to do that, staffed by former gun control lobbyists.

The notion that others are to blame for an individual’s failings and crimes is as juvenile as the toddler’s “the devil made me do it” excuse. Laws are enacted to protect society. They give society the tools by which to hold individuals accountable when they don’t respect the rights of others or the consequences of their actions. When President Biden and his gun control factions talk of repealing PLCAA, enacting unconstitutional restrictions through the rulemaking process instead of working through Congress – the representatives of “We, the People,” they are abrogating their responsibility to protect the very people they’ve been entrusted to govern. They break the social contract with Americans to shift the blame for crime from the criminal to those who had no part or responsibility for that crime.

This isn’t how Americans want to be governed. Weaponizing government – including the courts to cast the blame for criminal misbehavior on an industry or the rest of society – is anything but accountability. It gives the criminal a free pass. It punishes the innocent and negates rights that belong to law-abiding Americans.

This isn’t what the Founding Fathers envisioned. Americans must not tolerate a chief executive who crassly dismisses the hard-fought liberties that have been secured by patriots with their lives. Americans must not surrender their liberties to carry the collective blame when individuals break the law. Stripping Americans of their Second Amendment rights doesn’t make the country safer. It emboldens criminals and makes citizens wards of an Orwellian government.

—Mark Olivia, courtesy NSSF

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