There’s an old saying that if you hang around a place long enough, they might just give you a job. That has now proven true in the case of gun-control advocates who have closely allied themselves with the Joe Biden administration. They have always had his sympathetic ear and his support for their agenda to end firearm ownership in the United States as we know it. Now, however, Biden has gone a step further and created a special White House bureaucracy to put them on the federal payroll and to leverage the full power of the government to legitimize, amplify and expand their prohibitory ambitions. Worst of all, you will be paying for it.
In September, Biden announced he was creating the so-called White House Office for Gun Violence Prevention. His Rose Garden announcement identified four “primary responsibilities” for the office. First was to expedite implementation of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA), a sprawling gun-control bill passed over the NRA’s opposition in the summer of 2022, as well as the numerous gun-control executive actions Biden has announced since assuming office. Second was to “coordinate support for the survivors of gun violence,” an effort Biden likened to how the Federal Emergency Management Agency responds to other disasters. Third was to identify new ways for Biden to act unilaterally to promote gun control. And, finally, Biden said the office would “expand the coalition of partners” in states and localities that are working to end “gun violence,” a euphemism for recruiting new gun-control advocates.
The establishment of the new office offered Biden a chance to claim another victory on behalf of the firearm-prohibition lobby, which has for years sought the creation of a dedicated gun-control bureaucracy within the U.S. government. Joining Biden at the press conference announcing the bill was Rep. Maxwell Frost (D-FL), who was promoted as the first “Generation Z” member of Congress. Frost’s first bill in Congress was the Office of Gun Violence Prevention Act of 2023, which would authorize and fund an Office of Gun Violence prevention within the Office of Legal Policy of the Department of Justice. Its primary role would supposedly be to “maximize an integrated approach to reducing gun violence and serving victims of gun violence.”
But, like the office Biden created, the real purpose is to cloak the goal of restricting Second Amendment liberties with the endorsement of the government itself, as if abolishing the right to own a gun was not just the ambition of a small activist minority but part of the fabric of the nation. This completely distorts the legitimate purposes of government, so elegantly set forth in the preamble to the Constitution:
... to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity[.]
For Biden and like-minded gun-control advocates, however, government is little more than a tool for partisan propagandizing and the promotion of an extreme ideological agenda.
Fortunately, there was no congressional authorization for the office Biden actually created, so its transparently political nature is even more evident. The office has no specific appropriation, no confirmed appointees, no authority to make or enforce binding rules and no lifespan (one certainly hopes) beyond the current administration. Reduced to its essence, it is a point of contact, a think tank, an internal lobby and a megaphone to promote gun control.
That does not mean, however, that it is neither dangerous nor outrageous.
It is dangerous because access equals power in politics. It’s bad enough that the cozy relationship firearm-prohibition advocates have with the Biden administration elevates its fringe agenda to national prominence and is reflected in the official policies of not just federal law enforcement but a variety of other agencies as well. It’s hard to imagine that members of the national gun-control lobbies couldn’t already schedule meetings or telephone calls with senior Biden administration officials, virtually at their whim.
But an open line of communication and a ready audience pale in comparison to a daily and enduring presence in the White House itself. Now, members of the gun-control lobby aren’t just a phone call or short taxi ride away. They are right down the hallway from the Oval Office. And their output will be promoted by an eager and collaborative media as not just the wish list of one of many special interests competing for the White House’s attention but as the proceedings of a government office laboring for “violence prevention.” Actual government officials, meanwhile, with real authority and the resources to enforce their own dictates, will be required to take this output seriously and incorporate it into their agendas. While the link may not be as direct as the attorney general ordering the ATF to take a specific enforcement action, it has the potential to be real and substantial.
Biden’s move is outrageous because it all but dispenses with the ideal that underlies most government bureaucracies, that of disinterested experts enforcing duly enacted law for the common good. Not only is it not a creature of the Constitution, it is dedicated to diminishing constitutional rights. Not only did Congress not authorize it, Congress has consistently ignored legislation (such as Rep. Frost’s) introduced to do essentially the same thing. And when David Chipman, a bought-and-paid-for gun-control advocate, was nominated by Joe Biden to lead the federal agency that enforces gun-control laws, a bipartisan coalition of senators agreed that was a bridge too far and opposed the move, forcing Biden to retract the nomination.
Now, however, Biden has unilaterally decided to give dedicated gun-control activists in the private sector federal jobs to pursue that same work.
The good news is that two out of the four senior officials in the office are at least already employed by the government and are basically just being tasked or reassigned to the office.
You are now paying for these partisan activists to undermine your rights.
One is the nominal head of the office, Vice President Kamala Harris. Fortunately, Harris’ tenure in the White House has so far been marked by an absence of serious policy accomplishments and a surplus of embarrassing press coverage and fumbled public appearances. News outlets that support Biden and his party (which is to say most of them) seem unable to decide whether Harris should be openly acknowledged as a liability or pushed as an unlikely success, despite dismal approval ratings and precious little to show for whatever efforts she has made. Harris’ highest-profile assignment to date has been restoring order and security to the southern border, a situation that has only deteriorated under her watch from every conceivable angle.
Yet Harris has consistently supported all manner of extreme gun control, positioning herself even to Biden’s left on the issue during her own failed campaign in the 2020 presidential election. For example, during a candidate debate, Biden admitted that banning so-called “assault weapons” was not possible by executive action. Harris responded, “I would just say, ‘Hey, Joe, instead of saying, ‘’No, we can’t,’’ let’s say, ‘Yes, we can.’” Harris, in other words, would seemingly promote any gun-control executive order she considered desirable, no matter how obviously illegal or unconstitutional.
The office’s director, meanwhile, is Stefanie Feldman, described by the White House as an assistant to the president and White House staff secretary. Her official White House biography also claims “she was part of the team that helped then-Vice President Biden develop executive actions and legislation to reduce gun violence” during the Obama-Biden administration’s all-out gun-control push in late 2012 and early 2013. That legislative effort failed, leading Obama himself to characterize the lack of progress on gun control as the primary frustration of his presidency.
On the other hand, two former gun-control lobbyists were recruited away from their prior jobs to join the office as “deputy directors” and “special assistants to the president.” One is Greg Jackson, who was executive director of the Community Justice Action Fund. This lesser-known gun-control advocacy organization specializes in the “public-health approach” to gun control, which treats firearm ownership as a disease in need of a cure. Expect to see a renewal of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s involvement in gun-control advocacy under Jackson’s watch.
The most-provocative hire, however, was Rob Wilcox, previously the senior director of federal government affairs at Everytown for Gun Safety. There, his salary was underwritten by billionaire anti-gunner Michael Bloomberg, who at least could afford it. Now it will be the U.S. taxpayer. Wilcox also worked at Brady, one of the other big three national gun-control groups. Virtually no gun-control law or action has been too extreme for these groups’ support.
Like it or not, you are now paying for these partisan activists to undermine your rights. That will only change when liberty-loving Americans restore the White House to a president who respects Second Amendment rights and the proper functions of government.