Vice President Joe Biden will offer new recommendations from his gun violence prevention task force to the president by Tuesday, Biden said during a Thursday morning meeting with sportsmen’s groups.
That was quick.
Surely, there must be some thoughtful gun-control types who are disappointed that Biden will make his report within a couple of weeks of starting it? If you are reacting emotionally to Sandy Hook, or you believe that government action is a good in and of itself, and/or you just hate those gun owners and the awful NRA, then I suppose that it doesn’t really matter — providing the government “does something,” then you’ll be happy. But if you are earnestly concerned by America’s gun violence, and you are of the view that a concerted effort could actually diminish its frequency, then I’d presume that you might consider just a fortnight’s work on the problem to be somewhat insulting.
The old joke holds that if you want to kill something, set up a committee. But the president doesn’t so much want to kill gun-control efforts as to rush them through as fast as he possibly can and before anyone has had a chance to think. In just a fortnight, one is unlikely to come up with any genuinely new ideas or to do any meaningful research into the issue. Instead, the exercise has been more about arranging cover for doing what the president has long wanted to do — namely to ban “high-capacity magazines,” to reinstate some form of the pointless and obscure “assault weapons” ban, and to expand background checks — than it has about finding a serious answer to a (diminishing) problem. (Disclosure: I don’t think there is an “answer,” but I am aware that many do.)
The vice president, charged to lead the task force in the wake of the Newtown school shooting, said that stakeholder groups have expressed “surprising” support for universal background checks so far, as well as some restrictions on high-capacity magazines.
Of course they have.