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Will Gun Control Become the Democrats’ Winning Issue?

AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane

Pushing “defund the police” didn’t work. Creating the “Jim Crow 2.0” narrative didn’t work. Fighting against parents’ rights isn’t working. So now it appears Democrats think they can get an edge in the upcoming congressional elections by promoting stricter gun control measures.

On Monday, President Joe Biden announced he would curb deaths from gun violence by banning unlicensed kits used to manufacture firearms. Prohibiting these kits, also known as “ghost guns,” is a move that has garnered much praise from the anti-gun left, who argue that it will cut down on the distribution of untraceable weapons.

“These guns are weapons of choice for many criminals,” Biden lied during a speech at the Rose Garden. “We’re going to do everything we can to deprive them of that choice and when we find them, put them in jail for a long, long time.”

The ban will apply to “buy build shoot” kits that individuals can buy online or in a store without undergoing a background check.

It seems that Democrats believe they have found a winning issue for them in pushing more gun control measures.

“Democrats are on the defensive on violent crime, but they have a built-in trust advantage on gun violence prevention policies,” Peter Ambler, executive director for anti-gun group Giffords told Politico.

Ambler continued:

“If we’re worried about whether or not Democrats just rented the suburbs, or if we’ve made real substantial progress, if those are sort of top political concerns for Democrats, they need to look at gun safety, gun violence prevention, taking on the gun lobby as core parts of the strategy in advance of the midterms.”

Biden’s new rule is a nod to the gun control crowd, many of whose members have criticized his administration for failing to take stronger action against firearms. Several high-profile anti-gunners have urged the president to take more actions against gun ownership as Democrats have struggled to craft gun control legislation that would pass in the House and Senate.

Unlike many other topics, public favor seems to be on Biden’s side when it comes to gun policy. Morning Consult conducted a poll last year revealing that 63 percent of Americans supported the president’s focus on regulating ghost guns. It also found that most are in favor of expanded or universal background checks.

However, it appears the left is not exactly being honest when it comes to ghost guns and the danger they pose to civilians. For starters, the “ghost gun” label does not apply only to firearms manufactured by a private citizen – it applies to any weapon with no serial number. These guns are not always homemade; they are more often firearms purchased at a store after which the buyer will remove or obscure the serial number. This is done to make it harder for law enforcement to determine who originally bought the weapon.

National Review’s Kevin D. Williamson argued that most criminals who commit gun crimes are not using ghost guns that are homemade. Rather, they are using stolen guns or firearms that were obtained through illegal straw purchases, which occur when someone who can pass a background check purchases a gun for someone who is not legally allowed to possess a firearm.

Williamson also points out that very few gun crimes are committed using homemade firearms. He wrote:

To give you an idea of the situation on the ground, the gun-control group Everytown conducted a review of federal “ghost gun” cases — 114 of them over a decade, a number that should tell you something — and found that there were 2,513 such firearms connected to criminal activity. But — and these are Everytown’s findings, not mine — the crime associated with those 2,513 firearms was illegal manufacturing or dealing in 2,200 cases, not robbery or murder or assault. Put another way, almost all of the crimes associated with so-called ghost guns were, in Everytown’s review of the data, the crime of simply possessing such a weapon in the first place or selling one.

To put it simply, the Biden administration’s focus on ghost guns is a gigantic red herring. It is a way for him to look like he’s doing something about gun violence when he is doing little that will actually save lives. It is the same principle behind his fixation on banning “assault rifles.” The vast majority of gun crime is carried out using handguns that were obtained illegally. A scant number of these offenses are carried out by people using homemade guns with no serial numbers.

But regardless of the truth behind this matter, it is worth asking: Can gun control become Democrats’ winning issue? It probably has a much better chance than the other folderol they have been pushing over the past year. Using fears of gun violence will almost definitely be more effective than telling parents they should allow teachers to introduce sexuality and gender identity to small children. But this does not mean it will be enough.

Democrats will not succeed in passing major legislation to curb gun ownership and there is only so much Biden can do through executive order. It is also worth mentioning that while Americans might support some of these measures, the percentage that wants stricter gun control laws is falling drastically as the number of people purchasing firearms has risen considerably. In the end, this won’t be an issue that will prevent the brutal shellacking Democrats will receive in November. But at this point, they don’t have much else to bank on.

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