Joe Biden
President Joe Biden (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
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It is time for President Joe Biden to drop the gun control charade. He – along with his Capitol Hill gun control supporters – were never interested in curbing criminal misuse of guns. They are only interested in controlling you.

President Biden’s prisoner swap with Russia of a convicted international arms trafficker for a WNBA star proved that his administration doesn’t care about keeping guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them. His only interest when it comes to guns is keeping them out of the hands of those who obey the law. His earnest podium admonitions are betrayed by his actions.

‘Merchant of Death’

President Biden announced last week the trade with Russia of Viktor Bout for Brittney Griner. Bout is a notorious international arms smuggler who earned the moniker “Merchant of Death.” He’s a former Soviet-era military officer who was arrested in 2008 in Thailand by U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents in a sting for proposing a sale of tens of millions of dollars to the Colombian narco-terrorist group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.

The illicit sale was for $20 million worth of “a breathtaking arsenal of weapons — including hundreds of surface-to-air missiles, machine guns and sniper rifles — 10 million rounds of ammunition and five tons of plastic explosives.”

Bout’s history runs much deeper. He was identified as an illicit arms dealer by the United Nations in 2000. He was moving arms to African warlords, Middle East dictators and Central American narco-terrorist groups. His attempt to arm the FARC was what ultimately put him in prison for charges of conspiracy to kill U.S. nationals, U.S. officers and employees, conspiracy to acquire missiles to destroy aircraft and conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.

Brittney Griner (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)

Bout was swapped for Griner, a basketball player arrested by Russia in February on drug possession charges.

Security Threat

The exchange has been lampooned by critics for how embarrassingly lopsided it is. Russia continues to hold former Marine Paul Whelan, arrested on dubious espionage charges. Former National Security Advisor and Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton told CBS News, “This is not a deal. This is not a swap. This is a surrender.”

Aug. 23, 2019 photo of Paul Whelan, arrested for alleged spying (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

Fox News reported that former DEA Special Operation Director Derek Maltz, who was involved in Bout’s capture, slammed the White House for their “ironic” prisoner swap, arguing that it’s “disgusting” for the Biden administration to sell gun control while celebrating the release of an international arms trafficker.

Even the Pentagon is wary. “I think there is a concern that he would return to doing the same kind of work that he’s done in the past,” a senior defense official told reporters.

The exchange exposed how unserious this administration truly is when it comes to ending the criminal misuse of firearms. Less than one day before the swap was announced, President Biden renewed his pledge to ban modern sporting rifles (MSRs) in America.

That pronouncement came just days after he told media, “The idea we still allow semi-automatic weapons to be purchased is sick. Just sick. It has no socially redeeming value. Zero. None. Not a single solitary rationale for it except profit for the gun manufacturers.”

The White House is mum on Bout’s Russian return. It hasn’t gone unnoticed that within days of returning to Russia, Bout joined the pro-Kremlin Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), an ultranationalist right-wing political group. That political party supports Russia’s Ukraine invasion and demands Russia “reconquer” previously-held territories. He’s reportedly considering a run for Russia’s parliament, but is being coy with answers for now.

Viktor Bout, who was swapped for WNBA star Brittney Griner last week and who joined Russia’s Liberal Democratic Party attends the party congress in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. (Aleksandr Sivov, Press Service of Liberal Democratic Party of Russia via AP)

This has become a pattern for President Biden. The White House left $7 billion in weapons and equipment in the wake of the ill-fated Afghanistan withdrawal. That consisted of 600,000 weapons – including 350,000 M-4 and M-16 rifles, 60,000 machine guns and 25,000 grenade launchers. That’s on top of the 23,825 Humvees in Afghanistan, including armored gun truck variants, and nearly 900 combat vehicles, all of which are now in the hands of the Taliban, a terror organization that is the avowed enemy of the United States.

Move Along, Nothing to See Here

The White House ordered U.S. agencies to scrub any reference to those reports. It’s doing similar clean-up with the lopsided prisoner swap, calling in support from gun control allies on Capitol Hill.

Sheila Jackson Lee ar-15 ban
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) downplayed the significance of an international arms trafficker being released, despite the Pentagon’s concerns. Congresswoman Jackson Lee claimed Bout wasn’t directly responsible for American deaths, so the release of an arms trafficker isn’t a concern to her.

“Let me say this, no one knows the story of Paul — of the weapons dealer, if you will,” she said on MSNBC’s The ReidOut, according to Breitbart. “And — as the facts would tell them, he was sentenced to 25 years, he served 11 to 16 years, I don’t know the — I can’t remember the exact number. But in actuality, his weapons might have been used to kill Americans. He has not killed Americans.”

President Biden’s gun control agenda has never been targeted at stopping criminals. It’s always been about stopping law-abiding Americans from exercising their God-given rights.


Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

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  1. No, wait. You start the article off with End the Charade and then mention theBiden.
    LMAO fell on the floor and pissed, cause Charade and PRESIDENT biden is just too funny.

    • If those gosh darn bidens aren’t leaving US munitions for terrorists in Afghanistan and throwing a handgun in a dumpster they’re exchanging a dangerous, notorious arms dealer for an America hating basketball player…It’s sick and getting sicker.

      • Here’s hoping Victor pops his head up somewhere in Ukraine. Right into a Ukrainian sniper’s crosshairs.

      • One could argue that leaving all the munitions in Afghanistan was actually good for the American gun owner. Hear me out on this (I get it is a stretch), if they President had the military leave the weapons in Afghanistan, theoretically they will replace many of them with new weapons which are produced by American gun companies, which may require gun companies to increase production capacity. When capacity goes up then prices may go down, or at a minimum when profits go up innovation also goes up.

        I get this is not totally sound logic, but it certainly makes American gun companies stronger and more profitable….and provides more jobs to Americans.

        Just trying to look on the bright side. 😏

    • “The White House left $7 billion in weapons and equipment in the wake of the ill-fated Afghanistan withdrawal“

      That was the deal that President Trump negotiated with the terrorist Taliban.

      Trump made the agreement to leave those weapons with the Afghan army he had been training for the last four years.

      Are you suggesting that the Afghan army should’ve been disarmed before we withdrew, just how would that work?

  2. “never let a good crisis go to waste”

    and in the absence of one

    “create one”

    see also:

    las vegas mass shooting incident october 2017

  3. Is that not what I have been saying for the last 2 years? NRA NAGR all the rest aren’t on our side either. Every time I turn around they want more money. Every time you try to do something these days someone gonna tell you how the cow eats the cabbage. That’s just our policy, we don’t take cash, we don’t take checks, on and on. Most secure election in history, you take this useless jab or you’re fired. Fuck You, come get you some, the redneck don’t give a fuck anymore!

  4. I’m sorry. I just cant quit laughing at that guy We call president. I know I need some mental help but damnit , LOL. it’s hes just fuckin joke and a representative of the Great Nation of The United States of America. LMAO, the pygmy’s in the Amazon rain forest are like “WTF , America, Norte America, a president, that’s their President, lmao.
    Are We Having Fun Yet

    • ps.
      As a boxer theBiden looks like hed be pretty tough to beat. Close set eyes, appears to be hablve a pretty strong chin, head thick as a brick, yup , I’d body shot that fcker till he was pissing blood.
      R we Having Fun Yet

    • imagine how many copies of a really well edited vid of ~all~ the gaffes, fumbles, bumbles and stumbles was marketed. or a constant stream channel like the chive, “the lewd a bide’s.”

  5. Wait, are we actually entertaining the fantasy that their focus on “common sense gun safety” has ANYTHING to do with actually reducing crime???

    Oh, that’s SO cute!!!!

    Their goal is to disarm the LAW-ABIDING citizens, period, end of story. They will lie, tapdance, gaslight, and prevaricate as much as necessary to achieve their goal (disarmament of the average citizen). If they fail on one front, well . . . failure is their lifestyle, innit?? Hell, like the Red Queen, they believe seven impossible things before breakfast.

    Don’t engage them, Trying to actually debate idiots like dacian the demented and MinorLiar is like mud-wrestling with a pig: nothing is accomplished, you both get filthy, and the pig enjoys it. Ignore them, or MOCK them, but don’t engage them.

  6. The term gun control is a joke and so is “reasonable gun control laws.” There is nothing reasonable about violating the Second Amendment which the Dems seem to think is obsolete.
    Let us use the term “Gun Elimination for Americans” for Biden’s misguided attempts. I believe he thinks that he is a brother to Trudeau in Canada; a tyrant.

  7. You could count the number of people who believe gun control would stop the murders on two hands! It’s always been and will be a poorly disguised attempt to disarm Americans…… they can complete their agenda!!

    • She’s the idiot that asked if we could return astronauts to mars to retrieve the Flag they planted there. On the same level as the idiot that was afraid too many Marines and Sailors might tip over Guam.

  8. I do not share Biden’s views on completely banning semi-auto rifles.

    I do whole heartedly agree that Universal Background Checks and Safe Storage Laws are, long, long overdue and I would throw in mental background checks and tests as well.

    And before the T Tag unwashed start screaming medical records are private they are very wrong. If you have been arrested by the cops their evaluation of your mental state is now public record.

    Plenty of nut cases bought guns because they either bought them second hand or the back ground check did not have enough time to vet them “in depth” which is why background checks should be more lengthy.

    All civilized nations have such laws and their much lower rates of gun homicides and mass murders prove beyond all doubt that their laws work much better than our lack of such laws.

    • You just cannot seem to comprehend the word “No.” Unless and until you figure that puzzle out, you are just tilting at windmills. What, exactly, are you going to do with the millions upon millions of people with millions upon millions of guns who simply will not comply with your demands? How is a background check law, any law, going to impact the undisclosed number of guns I own that were manufactured, bought, sold, bought again, sold again and came into my possession before such laws were on the books? How are you going to render those guns, and the millions upon millions of others like them inoperable? How are you going to enforce a law that says how I store a gun and how and to whom I sell a gun without fundamentally altering the rights and norms our society is built upon? How, exactly, do you propose that such measures would be implemented? Even if you think you have come up with a workable proposal (which I seriously doubt) you still have not come up with a way to deal with my initial statement. What are you going to do when I say “No”?

      • to My Name

        Pay attention since you obvious live in a fantasy world.

        People look out for No. 1. If the law is draconian enough they are not going to risk selling their guns without going through a background check with the buyer. They know if caught they would lose their gun rights forever, be fined and imprisoned.

        The same would hold true if registration laws were ever passed. You could not sell a gun or take it to the range, or carry such a gun or use it in a self-defense situation so what good would it be to you if you did not obey the law and register it.

        As far as safe storage laws they will indeed comply because they know if they cause an accidental child death or there is a break in and theft of their guns and it was proven they did not have them locked up or ever worse did not even own a safe or any locking devices they would again be fined and possible go to jail. That is too great a risk for the average person. Yes, there are a few far right nut cases that would not do this be they would be in the minority and sooner or later they would be caught and face fines and prison time.

        Also many countries also conduct surprise inspections to see if people are indeed complying with the law. This could and should be part of a Safe Storage Law. This is why registration is a very good idea and should be part of the safe storage law.

        The moronic far right are always their own worst enemies. Because of their paranoia they do not realize that laws like these would cut way down on homicides and mass murders and there would be way less calls for complete bans on firearms but this is way over their heads as paranoia makes it impossible for them to understand even a simple concept such as this.

        • Draconian enough? Like the federally mandated prisons terms in the ‘war on drugs.’ And you’ve repeatedly talked down about the number of people that the US locks up and yet here you are wanting harsh prison sentences.

          We live in a drug free utopia now, don’t we.

        • Fantasy world? Turn that gaze inward if you want to see a fantasy world. I live in a world where people cast off draconian overlords and you live in a world where you think people cower and worship them.

          What you claim is, essentially, if the oppression is great enough then people will bow under the pressure. In the world where I live, if the authorities push too far, the people revolt and cast off the oppression.
          You cite “many countries” (as if I care what other people choose). You will note that these United States were founded precisely because some people no longer wanted to live under the authority of these “many” countries and their potentates and, so, created for themselves a land to preserve life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If you wish to see a nation in which “surprise inspections” are acceptable, even recommended, then I must conclude that you do not wish to live in the same nation I do. If you would prefer the overbearing rule of the nobles of old, I would invite you to remove yourself from my country and transport yourself to any one of these many others.

        • The more I think about it, the more reprehensible I find you and your position. You think, for some reason, that your ideas and designs for how the world *should* be and how other people *should* be controlled are righteous and unassailable. Well, here is a reality check for you: *I* reject your vision of the world and will not comply. Come try to dominate me with your vision. Come prepared.

          (In case that is not clear enough, FO)

        • ‘The same thing would hold true if registration laws were ever passed” THERE, you got it out, your real goal. No matter how hard you try you cannot hide the real prize registration then confiscation.

    • Show me one crime that gun laws have prevented. Not some broad brush ‘everybody knows’ bullsnot. One actual crime prevented by gun control laws.

  9. Well, to be perfectly honest, if I had my choice of weapons left in Afghanistan, I’d like one of those grenade launchers. I’ve never had the chance to use one. Yeah, I’ve seen a couple, but no reason or excuse to handle one. Dear Santa . . .

  10. If you change your perspective to one of pro-Chinese Communist Party, then Biden and the Democrats in Congress, are doing a damn fine job.

  11. The very WORST part of this story is the BRANDON ADMINISTRATION, left a U.S. combat MARINE in enemy hands , & brought a bimbo loudmouth traitor home to America, that hates America.
    Maybe being a queer black broad had something to do with it, only the corrupt Administration of BRANDON knows for sure. & all they know how to do is lie.

    • “Maybe being a queer black broad had something to do with it”
      Kinda like choosing a loser for VP and a partisan freaking hack for the SC. Don’t forget the absolute hollow headed Pierre. It absolutely had something to do with it.

  12. “Congresswoman Jackson Lee claimed Bout wasn’t directly responsible for American deaths, so the release of an arms trafficker isn’t a concern to her.

    ‘Let me say this, no one knows the story of Paul — of the weapons dealer, if you will,’ she said on MSNBC’s The ReidOut, according to Breitbart. ‘And — as the facts would tell them, he was sentenced to 25 years, he served 11 to 16 years, I don’t know the — I can’t remember the exact number. But in actuality, his weapons might have been used to kill Americans. He has not killed Americans. ‘

    She is a piece of work. Sheila Jackson Lee, who wants to sue gun manufacturers anytime someone uses their gun to commit a crime, has never met a gun control law she didn’t like, who blames the gun and never the criminal pulling the trigger. Now, shes defending the release of an illegal arms dealer and not just any old arms dealer, one of the most prolific and dangerous arms dealers on the planet who sells his wares most specifically to those terrorists and narcos who kill Americans. Now she says something very strange for her with this…

    “But in actuality, his weapons might have been used to kill Americans. He has not killed Americans.”

    Basically she said: Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.

    If guns don’t kill people and people kill people, why is she trying to sue gun manufacturers for the acts of criminals?

    • Well, at least she has admitted that *my* guns are not responsible for the crimes committed by *others*. Blind squirrel, broken clock, you know where I’m going.

  13. Bill Clinton fought tooth and nail to block implementation of the NRA-promoted “Operation Exile,” which quickly reduced gun crime by about 75% everywhere it was implemented by the simple device of strictly enforcing the federal mandatory minimum 5-years in prison for felons in possession.

    The criminals had to stop carrying guns, and they did, which was anathema to Clinton and the Democrats because they wanted MORE gun crimes that they could blame on America’s gun rights.

    Obama followed that up with Fast and Furious, where the Obama-DEA conned American gun dealers into agreeing to sell guns to gun-runners for the Mexican drug cartels, not telling the American dealers that the plan was to have they guns show up at Mexican crime scenes, then trace them back to the American gun dealers, who would be blamed and prosecuted.

    The only thing that saved the duped gun dealers was the tragic fact that one of the first people murdered with a Fast and Furious gun was a U.S. Border Patrol agent. The Obama administration actually tried to blame the dealer who had cooperated with them, and would have prosecuted him, but the agent’s murder blew the lid off of Fast and Furious and the Obamatons had to stop trying to blame the dealer.

    The whole plan had been to cause a wave of murders in Mexico that could be blamed on American gun dealers as a way to wage war on America’s gun rights. They waged war on Mexico in order to wage war on our Constitution.

  14. We will be facing the weapons we left in Afghanistan within 10 years. DEA, FBI, CIA, and other agencies will be facing those weapons in South American sooner and probably with the help of Bout. Biden has never been about reducing violent crime. It’s about disarming those citizens with the ability to think for themselves so he can and his fellow liberals can enact their liberal policies without fear of an uprising.

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