President Joe Biden (D) made a televised address on June 2 about guns in America. It wasn’t a speech about the recent rise in violent crime and what should be done to stop criminals from preying on citizens. It wasn’t even a speech about what should be done to stop mass-murderers. It was a political speech about imposing his long-desired gun-control policies on Americans.
Not once did President Biden even mention improving security in our schools. He didn’t talk about the changes in policies that have likely increased crime rates. He didn’t talk about the need to better fund psychiatric hospitals. Instead, he called for a new ban on popular semi-automatic rifles and for his other previously outlined gun-control restrictions on our Second Amendment rights.
The NRA quickly posted a reply to President Biden.
The NRA has long supported securing our schools so that our teachers and children will be safe. We support strict enforcement of all our nation’s laws that target violent criminals. We support prosecution and punishment of criminals who break these laws. Indeed, the NRA supports the arrest, prosecution and punishment of any violent criminal or other dangerous prohibited person who tries to purchase or possess a firearm.
We support fully funding law-enforcement agencies. And, we wholeheartedly support the right of any law-abiding American to defend themselves and their loved ones. Even though it’s rarely reported, more than a million law abiding Americans use firearms in self-defense every year - most without ever firing a shot.
What we don’t support are senseless policies like no-cash bail that create a revolving door justice system that only endangers good citizens. And, we will fight any proposal that will disarm law-abiding Americans.
And, America does have a critical mental health crisis. Many are sick, too few people are able to recognize their illness, and even less get help. The sad reality is there are too few resources for those who need it. Over the last 60 years, the number of beds available at psychiatric hospitals in America has dropped by 96 percent. In 1955, there were an estimated 340 beds per 100,000 people with mental health illnesses. In 2016, that number fell to 11.7 beds per 100,000 people. We must find a way to reach these people before they hurt themselves or others. And, we must fund places for these people to find refuge and treatment.
Instead of backing these sensible solutions both major political parties should be able to support, President Biden choose a partisan political approach; he even called Republicans “unconscionable.”
President Biden stood in front of candles in the White House’s Cross Hall and repeated that we need to “do something, just do something,” but then only listed gun-ban policies that would disarm law-abiding Americans—people who according to the most-recent data comes from the 2021 National Firearms Survey, defend themselves in America 1.67 million times every year, mostly without ever firing a shot.
“I respect the culture and tradition of lawful gun owners,” said Biden before calling for bans on semi-automatic firearms and magazines and taking away the constitutional rights of 18-21 year olds. He again lied by saying the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) gives the firearms industry “special protections” from lawsuits.
He repeated dishonest statistics from gun-control groups and acted as if these horrifying events are all about guns when they are clearly about mental health and criminal behavior. This speech wasn’t helpful. It won’t bring people together behind smart and sensible solutions. As the NRA said at the end of its response, this is a “shame.”