Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has a poignant pen. His public letters to the Obama administration demanding answers about its gun-running scandal, Operation Fast and Furious, after a U.S. Border Patrol agent was murdered in 2010 are still a must-read for anyone who wants to try to understand that strange and horrific operation run by the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
Now Sen. Grassley has written a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland asking why the Biden administration is using a rise in the murder rate to push for more gun-control laws instead of focusing government resources on the actual problems.
“I am concerned that the Biden Administration’s strategy, and the DOJ’s implementation of it, politicize our response to violent crime. By misdirecting energy to ineffective, partisan gun control solutions, the DOJ will have little to no effect on violent crime. The DOJ will also target and intimidate law-abiding businesses and citizens for exercising their Second Amendment rights,” writes Sen. Grassley.
Sen. Grassley is specifically referring to a press release the DOJ published, but he also could have been writing about remarks President Joe Biden (D) made in New York City recently. In a speech on crime, Biden blamed “rogue gun dealers” and an “iron pipeline” for a homicide rate that went up during “defund-the-police” activism (New York City alone cut $1 billion in 2020 from its police budget), prisoner releases, bail reform, a lack of prosecutorial zeal for those who break gun laws and more.
“We have a serious violent crime problem which requires serious policy solutions. At least 16 U.S. cities set murder records in 2021. A study from last month found that 27 major U.S. cities experienced a 44% increase in homicides since 2019. Attacks on law enforcement also continue to rise… . Despite this continued rise in violent crime, the DOJ and the President have decided to focus time and taxpayer resources on policies that will not work, including addressing the so- called ‘Iron Pipeline,’ ghost guns, and lawful firearms dealers,” says Sen. Grassley.
Sen. Grassley then cuts right to the actual facts in a direct way the mainstream media doesn’t like to do on this issue by writing: “According to the fact sheet, the DOJ’s ‘Iron Pipeline’ efforts will crack down on illegal gun trafficking from ‘source cities [and] communities’ to five key market regions: New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay area/Sacramento region and Washington, D.C. The fact sheet creates the false impression that the explosion of crime in Democrat-controlled cities is entirely the fault of states with lower rates of crime. However, data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) shows that this assertion isn’t true.”
He then quotes the ATF’s statistics on where guns used in crimes were first bought to show that the catchy “iron pipeline” phrase is disingenuous.
“In 2020, the most recent year for which data is available, every state provided the greatest number of recovered firearms within its own borders. In Illinois, for example, firearms from Illinois accounted for 5,937 recovered guns in Illinois, while neighboring Indiana accounted for only a third of that number. Guns from California account for more of its own firearms recoveries than all other states combined. New York-sourced guns accounted for almost as many guns recovered in New York as the next two states combined,” says Sen. Grassley’s letter.
“The President’s focus on the ‘Iron Pipeline’ is a political effort to falsely suggest that conservative states with robust legal access to firearms somehow cause crime in Democrat-run cities,” writes Sen. Grassley. “This is a distraction from the reality that the explosion of crime in blue cities is directly attributable to those same cities implementing de-policing, installing progressive prosecutors, and enacting disastrous bail reform policies.”
Attorney General Garland is unlikely to look over this sharp letter and then provide a straightforward public response. The facts loudly run counter to the Biden administration’s false claims that freer areas of America and federally licensed firearms dealers, are responsible for the rise in violent crimes. This is a losing conversation for Garland and the Biden administration, so they will likely ignore it and attempt to talk it away.
But that doesn’t mean that clear logic about this issue, as presented in Sen. Grassley’s letter, are not worth doing. The letter was made public because this is and must be a public debate. Midterm elections are coming in November and the voting public needs to know the truth so they can vote the politicians blaming law-abiding gun owners for their bad policies out of office.