HomeUSAAwkward: Joe Biden Addresses Everytown Hours After Hunter's Conviction on Gun Charges

Awkward: Joe Biden Addresses Everytown Hours After Hunter’s Conviction on Gun Charges

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When the folks at Everytown for Gun Safety decided to schedule their “Gun Sense University” event for June 11, I’m sure they had no idea that the date would coincide with Hunter Biden’s conviction on federal gun charges. But in a happy coincidence (at least for Second Amendment supporters), the gun control group held its confab in Washington, D.C. just hours after Hunter was convicted… and its keynote speaker was none other than Hunter’s dad Joe. 

By the time Biden took the stage early Tuesday afternoon (more than an hour past his scheduled arrival time, it should be noted) he’d already released a statement expressing his continued support for his son; saying he’s “proud” of who Hunter is today. 

“So many families who have had loved ones battle addiction understand the feeling of pride seeing someone you love come out the other side and be so strong and resilient in recovery.”

“As I also said last week, I will accept the outcome of this case and will continue to respect the judicial process as Hunter considers an appeal,” he added. “Jill and I will always be there for Hunter and the rest of our family with our love and support. Nothing will ever change that.”

As we’ve previously discussed, Biden’s pledge to respect the judicial process is utterly meaningless. Hunter Biden likely won’t be sentenced for several months, and could avoid prison altogether as a first time offender. Even if Judge Maryellen Noreika sentences Hunter to federal prison he’s likely to remain free while his case is appealed, and the First Father can always issue a pardon or commute Hunter’s sentence after the election in November without worrying about blowback from voters. 

But Joe Biden didn’t dwell on Hunter Biden’s own legal troubles during his speech to Everytown, even as he trumpeted the increased prosecutions for illegal firearms possession and gun trafficking during his time in office. In fact, Hunter’s conviction for lying about his drug use when purchasing a firearm, as well as possessing a gun as an unlawful user of drugs, didn’t come up at all in his address to gun control advocates. Instead, Biden gave what amounted to a boilerplate campaign speech to the gun control group, taking credit for the FBI’s reported drop in violent crime and attempting to tie the latest crime stats to the passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.

While Biden was happy to promote the idea that crime is dropping dramatically across the country, if that is the case then clearly we don’t need federal bans on so-called assault weapons and large capacity magazines, federal gun licensing laws, or other restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms to improve public safety; a contradiction that the president never came close to acknowledging. 

Most of what came out of Biden’s mouth was nothing new. He talked up the “dozens” of executive actions he’s taken to push gun control, and proclaimed to cheers that in a second term he’ll sign an “assault weapons” ban into law, asking “who in God’s name needs a magazine that can hold 200 shells”. He once again erroneously maintained that it was illegal to own a cannon, though this time he cited the Civil War as the relevant time period, not the War of Independence (he’s still wrong). He demanded “universal” background checks and federal gun storage laws. 

Biden did tell one story I hadn’t heard before; a supposed conversation with a Delaware fisherman who said (according to Biden) that he wanted to take his gun. Biden claimed that he told the man that wasn’t so, but if he needed “twelve to a hundred rounds” he’s a lousy shot. The story drew applause from the crowd, though I couldn’t see the reaction (if any) from the Secret Service agents who carry far more than ten rounds in order to protect the president. 

In contrast to Donald Trump’s speech to NRA members, which lasted well over an hour and took place in front of several thousand people, Biden’s address to several hundred Everytown supporters was relatively brief; lasting less than 30 minutes. Biden then headed to Andrews AFB and then on to Wilmington, Delaware after departing the gun control gathering, and it seemed like he was cutting his speech short in order to make it to Air Force One in time for his scheduled 3 p.m. departure. 

The gun control lobby is too important to Biden’s reelection chances for him to bail on his Everytown appearance, but Hunter’s conviction was apparently too awkward to bring up before his anti-gun supporters. Hunter Biden’s conviction ended up being the elephant in Everytown’s room during Biden’s speech, and I’m surprised that he didn’t at least trot out a mundane statement about “no one’s above the law, and I respect the jury’s decision.” My guess is his campaign handlers decided it would be better to ignore the issue entirely rather than provide his detractors with any sort of soundbite, but honestly, it made Biden look cowardly. 

In a way, though, it’s a perfect distillation of the essence of the gun control movement: talk up the things that help your cause, ignore the things that don’t. Never acknowledge any armed citizens acting to defend themselves or others. Don’t discuss the government abuses that are forcing people to wait a year or more to possess a gun in the home or carry one for self-defense, while pre-teens are able to quickly acquire a gun through criminal means. And perhaps above all else, don’t talk about the tens of thousands of people who are convicted felons, like Hunter, for non-violent, possessory offenses involving firearms; victims of the gun control lobby and their political allies like Joe Biden. 

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