On Friday, former congressman turned failed presidential candidate Joe Walsh (R) announced that he’s backing Parkland father Fred Guttenberg’s launch of “Dads for Gun Safety.” The timing of the launch coincides with Father’s Day and Jamie Guttenberg’s would-be high school graduation.
Guttenberg, who penned an open letter on the under the Brady United gun control banner, said he wants to see Congress pass a number of anti-Second Amendment bills, including universal background checks, an “assault weapons” ban, and red flag laws. He also wants Congress to provide funding for states to implement “community violence prevention programs” and the Senate to confirm President Joe Biden’s ATF pick, David Chipman.
To help launch his new gun control group, Guttenberg is asking one million Americans to sign onto his open letter in hopes Congress will take up his desired legislation.
It's almost Fathers Day. Rather than celebrating, I will spend Fathers Day working to prevent other dads from losing children to gun violence. I need your help sending a message to DC. Let's make #DadsForGunSafety the biggest # of all time with 1,000,000 RT's. Let's do this. pic.twitter.com/6t5xyPNpza
— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) June 7, 2021
When Walsh saw the tweet ten days ago, he said he disagreed with the Parkland father’s take on gun laws but appreciates Guttenberg’s activism and thanked him for pushing civilian disarmament.
Fred, you and I disagree on a number of specific gun control measures & policies. We probably don’t see eye to eye on the issue of guns. But I respect the heck out of you, I so admire your activism, and I continue to pray for your loss. Thank you for all you do. https://t.co/kFxWfKJWYx
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) June 7, 2021
Fast forward a few days and the pair appeared on MSNBC together to discuss the initiative. In the segment, Walsh agreed to sign onto the letter.
“I am so moved by what Fred is doing and we do disagree on some fundamental reforms. And Fred, I didn’t plan this at all. Mika and Joe, I didn’t plan this at all. Fred asked me a week ago to sign his ‘Dads for Gun Safety’ letter. Because I disagree with some of the gun control reforms that Fred’s advocating for, a week ago I said I won’t sign it,” Walsh explained. “Fred, I’d be happy to sign that letter. … Even though I disagree with some of the measures that you’re advocating for, this is a moment and you so profounding pushing this concept of ‘Dads for Gun Safety,’ I’d be honored to be a part of that.”
Walsh reiterated that position on Twitter:
I loved speaking with Fred this am. He & I disagree on numerous gun control measures. But I agreed to sign his #DadsForGunSafety letter in a spirit of bipartisanship. To find common ground. If Joe Walsh & Fred Guttenberg can find common ground, anyone can. Thank you @Morning_Joe. https://t.co/GdeUbF4SNP
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) June 18, 2021
At the end of the segment, Guttenberg explained the changes he wants to see.
“Executive action from President Biden alone won’t solve this but we do need to get Dave Chipman into the ATF. That’s number one,” Guttenberg said. “… number two, the Senate needs to do the bare minimum. This year is running out and it has to be this year. I don’t want to wait ’til another election year, to be quite honest. Pass background checks. Do it! Get it done. No more excuses. No more BS. Pass background checks. Pass safe storage. Do the things that up to 90 percent of the American people agree are reasonable.”
A couple of interesting things to note: Guttenberg relied heavily on “background checks” during his MSNBC segment, but didn’t note that A) background checks already exist and are required for all purchases from an FFL, B) universal background checks are about regulating private party transfers (predominantly between family members), and C) he wants an assault weapons ban or red flag laws.
If Walsh truly disagreed with the running list of gun control measures Guttenberg is pushing, why would he sign onto the letter? Because it’s nothing more than political pandering.
He calls it an act of bipartisanship but it’s not. Bipartisanship takes into account both sides and what their concerns and issues are. It means both sides are willing to compromise. And guess who always does the compromising where gun laws are concerned. That’s right. Gun owners.
Anti-gunners like Guttenberg seem to think gun owners and the firearms industry are doing absolutely nothing to promote gun safety and safe gun storage (which we all know is the furthest thing from the truth). In fact, the most successful gun safety program in the country is NSSF’s Project ChildSafe, which partners with local law enforcement agencies to provide free gun locks.
If these two want to see bipartisanship they should start with opposing David Chipman’s nomination to head the ATF. The nominee was part of the botched Waco raid – which both sides should take issue with – and is a registered gun control lobbyist.
Give them an inch and they’ll take a mile.