President Joe Biden spoke from the White House today with Attorney General Merrick Garland about the Biden administration's plans for a "comprehensive strategy to prevent and respond to gun crime and ensure public safety."
The main focus of this conversation was about gun control, using the Biden administration's April guidelines, and that gun dealers who break the rules will be held accountable for their actions.
Biden is working hard to enact gun control without Americans thinking he is running afoul of the second amendment, which protects Americans' rights to own firearms.
To that end, he said, confusingly, "The second amendment from the day it was passed limited the type of people who could own a gun and the type of weapon you could own. You couldn't buy cannon, those who say the blood of patriots y'know and all the stuff about how we're going to have to move against the government. Well the tree of liberty is not water of the blood of patriots. What's happened is, that there never been, if you wanted you think you need to have weapons to take on the government, you need F-15s and maybe some nuclear weapons. The point is that there's always been the ability to limit rationally limit the type of weapon that can be owned and who can own it."
Biden spoke about having met with a bipartisan group, to discuss a "comprehensive strategy" to "combat the epidemic of gun violence." He said that crime historically rises during the summer, and that the "traditional summer spike may be more pronounced" than it usually is.
Biden said background checks, bans on assault weapons and high capacity magazines, community policing, are all effective policies, but that "over time they were gutted" and "underfunded." Congress, he said, has a responsibility to pass federal gun control legislation.
"These merchants of death are breaking the law for profit," he said of "rogue gun dealers." He said there would be "zero tolerance" on dun dealers who sell to customers who are not legally allowed to have them, who don't abide by background checks, or who don't go along with ATF trace requirements.
Biden said that opponents of his plans say that it is Democrat-led cities with strict gun control laws that are seeing the highest incidents of violent crime, such as Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, and Chicago. Biden accounted for this by saying that the gun violence in cities with increased gun control legislation are unable to control guns bought in places without strict gun laws that are then transported to the liberal cities and used in violent crime.
He announced "five new strike forces" to "better coordinate" prosecution of gun violations. AG Garland had already spoken on this, talking about the need o "crack down on gun traffickers." According to Garland, ATF will establish "strike forces" to address "significant firearms trafficking corridors." This, he said, will save lives, but they "will not solve the problem of violent crime."
Biden stumbled over his words and seems to have trouble with the teleprompter, seeming to skip over words and slur the edges of his sentences.
States, cities, counties, and tribes will be funded under the new plans. Biden blamed the lack of summer jobs for youth for an increase in crime.
For the Biden administration, the key issue is that guns and those who sell them are the problem, that those who commit crimes are simply acting out due to a lack of other opportunities, and that more social programs are needed to "help those who are most likely to commit gun crimes." He said these programs and interventionists could "turn down the temperature," as part of "community violence intervention programs."
Interestingly, Biden spoke about a program that offers cognitive behavioral therapy in Chicago, that helps people remake the way they are thinking so that they have more control over their lives.
Biden again said that the most important job of the White House and the federal government is to keep the American people safe. He claimed that more research needs to be funded on gun violence, to figure out how to prevent it.
Gun control, he said, "doesn't affect responsible gun owners, or second amendment rights," he said. "This shouldn't be a red or blue issue," Biden said. "It's an American issue. We're not changing the constitution, we're enforcing it. Be reasonable."
"Let's show the world and show ourselves that democracy works, we can come together as one nation, we can do this, and save lives," Biden said.
Reporters asked about a congressional assault weapons ban, and he said "I never give up hope."
Another asked about how the federal government can change the mindset of those who commit gun violence. Biden named the compassionate strategies of his administration.
AG Garland, who has named "white supremacy" as the greatest threat facing the US, was appointed as the attorney general after the Obama administration failed to get Garland confirmed to the Supreme Court.
"ATF will initiate proceedings," he said, to revoke the licenses of dealers that do not comply with laws on background checks, those that falsify records, those that fail to respond to trace requests of get in the way of ATF inspectors, noting that more funding would go to ATF to control and investigate gun dealers "who post the greatest risk to public safety." Garland said ATF would get more funding for this.
In conducting investigations, Garland said, ATF would have to "consider the extent to which fire arms sold by a dealer are later used in criminal activity." ATF will also be "sharing inspection data" with those states that regular gun dealers.
It depends "on all of us joining together," Garland said.