Cal Thomas: Biden the ghost (gun) buster

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Inflation ballooned 8.5 percent in March compared to a year ago, the largest increase since December 1981 and the fifth straight monthly surge.

So, what did President Biden choose to talk about before the Bureau of Labor Statistics released this figure? Ghost guns, a type of gun that arrives partially assembled and requires the buyer to piece together. These guns have no serial numbers which make them impossible to trace.

We have seen this gun control show before. Biden and recent Democratic presidents have called for more restrictions on guns of various types and yet crimes involving guns continue to increase.

The Pew Research Center reports on statistics from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention which found “more Americans died of gun-related injuries in 2020 than any other year on record. … That included a record number of gun murders, as well as a near-record of gun-suicides.” How can this be with so many states and cities having tough gun laws?

Part of the answer is district attorneys and parole boards that release violent offenders before completion of their sentences, fail to prosecute them to the full extent of the law or apply low or no bail. A study by the U.S. Sentencing Commission reported more than two-thirds of federal gun offenders were re-arrested within eight years of being released from prison, compared to less than half of non-firearm offenders.

Then there’s the leniency factor. A 17-year-old suspect in the murder of a young woman in New York City could be tried as a juvenile, which means a lighter sentence if he is convicted. Such a move would fly in the face of recent promises by liberal politicians to get tougher on crime, especially criminals who commit crimes with guns.

The other and more profound answer has to do with one of the definitions of the word “criminal,” which includes “unlawful.” This may come as a revelation to some, but criminals do not obey laws, otherwise they would not be criminals and the prisons would be empty. No one intent on breaking current gun laws will be deterred by the passage of new gun laws.

Talking about and even passing more gun laws may make politicians feel good about themselves and shore up their voter base, but statistics and common sense prove they do little or nothing to reduce the number of people using guns to commit crimes. Then there are guns that can be created on a 3-D printer. Is registering printers next?

On Tuesday, a man identified by police as Frank R. James, set off a smoke bomb and shot 10 people in a Brooklyn, New York, subway station. New York has some of the toughest gun laws in the country. The National Rifle Association-Institute of Legislative Action says it is extremely difficult to get a gun permit in New York City compared to other locations. And a license to carry a concealed gun is the hardest of all to acquire. The subway gunman was not deterred by New York’s gun laws.

I don’t blame President Biden for trying to change the subject when faced with inflation numbers that include higher gas and food prices, which affect everyone, and predictions by some economists of a possible recession.

His poll numbers are dismal and getting worse. Prospects for a Democratic wipeout in the November election are growing by the day. As in the past when politicians have talked about the need for more gun laws, I doubt the president’s latest rhetoric will have any effect on crime, or his poll numbers.

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