Susan Rice, former President Barack Obama’s first U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and later his National Security Advisor, joined Moms Demand Action’s Shannon Watts for the latest in Everytown’s Veepstakes. She hyped her antigun history to the 134 live Twitter viewers, telling them more gun control is needed and 2020 Democratic nominee Joe Biden is just the guy for the role. But, she added, that wasn’t enough. Gun control needs to sweep Congress too.
Praising Biden’s gun control history, Rice stated, “In the Obama-Biden administration, we implemented more than two dozen very important reforms that put curbs on access to guns, but we need legislation…We need Joe Biden in the White House and Democrats in control of the House and the Senate.”
Ambassador Rice omitted a significant fact. She joined the administration two weeks after President Obama was inaugurated in 2009 and Democrats controlled all levers of the federal government – the presidency, the House of Representatives and the Senate – for the next two years. They did not pass any gun control legislation.
Biden’s Gun Control Reform Record
Ambassador Rice glossed over the inaction of the Obama administration. President Obama, in his third year, appointed then-Vice President Biden to lead a gun control task force after the Newtown tragedy. The recommendations were lacking serious proposals, but Rice exalted Biden’s efforts.
“The folks on this call know Joe Biden’s record,” she said. “He’s been a leader against gun violence for so many years. And now he has a very detailed, clear cut, aggressive, comprehensive platform to go against all aspects of gun violence.”
Among Biden’s task force recommendations was requiring so-called “smart gun” technology. The National Institute of Justice studied the technologies and concluded “none were successful.”
Fast forward and Biden’s dangerous ideas on guns include recommending blindly firing shotguns and having police shoot “unarmed” knife-wielding attackers in the leg. He wants red flag laws that deny due process and reinstatement of the failed 1994 Assault Weapons Ban. Ambassador Rice agrees with all of this, adding Biden would support a gun buyback program, likely headed by former U.S. Rep. Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke (D-Texas).
Growing Up With Gun Control
Ambassador Rice has remained in the top tier for potential Biden VP picks as others fell away. She explained her formative years in Washington, D.C., and its’ notorious gun control as a key asset to tackle criminal violence. Rice noted, “It’s been known as the murder capital of the world.”
Washington, D.C., with its’ strict gun control, struggles with criminal misuse of firearms like Chicago, New York City and Baltimore. Ambassador Rice, it seems, would aspire to the same failed policies ascribed by Virginia’s Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, New York’s Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Chicago’s Mayor Lori Lightfoot. They choose demagoguery over Real Solutions.
Real Solutions with Results
Ambassador Rice did offer an idea on how to reduce criminal misuse of firearms stating, “And so what we really need is the kind of programs at the community level that reduce violence…”
NSSF has implemented community-level programs that have proven effective for decades, and continue today as firearm ownership reaches record highs and criminal violence trends lower. By partnering with local law enforcement through Project ChildSafe, NSSF has distributed over 38 million free firearm safety kits with gun locks. Partner programs with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives including Operation Secure Store and Don’t Lie for the Other Guy help to deter firearm retailer theft and robberies and prevent illegal straw purchases.
NSSF improved the National Instant Criminal Background Check (NICS) system, changing the law in 16 states and supported the Fix NICS Act of 2017, to ensure disqualifying adjudicated mental health records were submitted to the FBI.
More VP candidates are sure to be vetted as the election draws nearer. NSSF will update the online voter education resource #GUNVOTE so when heading to the polls in November, voters don’t risk your rights.
Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.