The Corner

White House

Biden Tries to Turn Tragedy into Political Capital

President Joe Biden speaks about the mass shooting in Colorado from the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, D.C., March 23, 2021. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

“As president, I’m going to use all the resources at my disposal to keep the American people safe.” It’s a wonderful sentiment. But for longtime observers of Joe Biden and his party, it marked an ominous sign of things to come early on in his remarks about the shooting in Boulder, Colo., yesterday.

When Biden made repeated reference to “gun violence,” words chosen ever so purposefully, within the first minute or so, his intentions became ever more clear. He would have no qualms about trying to turn yesterday’s tragedy into today’s political capital.

Sure enough, he transitioned to asserting that while he didn’t know enough about the shooter, his motives, or even the weapons he used, he didn’t have “to wait another minute, let alone an hour to take common sense steps that will save lives in the future.” What steps? He urged Congress to ban “assault weapons,” “high capacity magazines,” and to close the “Charleston loophole,” one of many imaginary loopholes decried by opponents of the Second Amendment in this country.

Biden insisted that this “should not be a partisan issue,” calling it instead an “American issue” that will “save lives.” He didn’t say how.

If Biden were really interested in taking partisanship out of debates over guns in this country, he would refrain from using the aftermath of a shooting that he admits to having limited information about to push an agenda that targets the nebulous boogeymen of dangerous “assault weapons” and evil “loopholes.” He’s not interested in unity or problem-solving, though. What he really wants is to use the nearly unimaginable pain of his fellow Americans to push a highly partisan, unconstitutional agenda under the guise of keeping us all safe.

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