White House spokesperson Jen Psaki should know by now that speaking the truth is much easier than spinning a yarn. Yet, this White House can’t seem to bring themselves to admit crime is a problem.
For the Biden administration, it’s always the gun. Not the criminal illegally wielding a gun.
Psaki made the stunning admission that the Biden administration doesn’t feel crime is a pressing issue The White House has to address. Unless, of course, it comes to blaming the firearm industry and law-abiding gun owners.
No Laughing Matter
Psaki spoke to former Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett, a co-host of the podcast “Pod Save America,” when she attempted to gaslight America on crime concerns by noting mainstream media reporting was focused on the looming Ukraine-Russia crisis, but Fox News was reporting on the administration’s soft-on-crime policies.
“And then on FOX is Jeanine Pirro, talking about soft on crime consequences,” Psaki said according to a RealClear Politics report. “What does that even mean? So there’s an alternate universe on some coverage. What’s scary about it is a lot of people watch that and they think that the president isn’t doing anything to address people’s safety in New York and that couldn’t be further from the truth or other places.”
Psaki doubled down in a press conference when confronted with her flippant remarks about crime. She said President Joe Biden proposed increasing funding for police, calling those “uncomfortable facts” for the president’s detractors. She added, “… that gun crime is a major driver of crime across the country, also a fact.”
Hold on. Psaki didn’t say that criminals were an issue. She said guns were causing the crime. This is a long-standing effort on behalf of the administration and their gun control cabal to paint with a broad brush all gun owners as the same as criminals and ignoring the administration’s refusal to address crime.
Psaki is ignoring that President Biden previously voiced support for eliminating cash bail, which turns criminals back out on to the streets. Vice President Kamala Harris tweeted support and encouraged people to donate for bail money “protestors” to get out of jail during the riots and looting in the summer of 2020.
U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) called attention to the bail fund plea, which raised over $35 million. The Minnesota Freedom Fund (MFF), which Vice President Harris promoted, paid $75,000 in bail for Jaleel Stallings, who was charged with attempted murder after shooting at police, according to a fact check by The Washington Post.
Local Minnesota television reported the MFF bailed out multiple people charged with violent crimes, including posting $100,000 for a woman accused of killing a friend and $350,000 for a twice-convicted rapist charged with kidnapping, assault and sexual assault in two separate cases.
Another man, Lionel Timms, who was bailed out with MFF money after an assault charge, was later re-arrested for third-degree assault, leaving his victim with a traumatic brain injury and a fractured skull.
Just weeks ago, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) lambasted the Biden administration’s proposed executive order that would, “limit law enforcement access to nonlethal and lifesaving resources, and impose greater restrictions on federal grant dollars.”
Time and again, the country is witnessing a duplicitous approach to crime by The White House. On one hand, they claim to be taking crime seriously, but the actions by officials within the administration minimize criminal action and reduce support for law enforcement. The only blame they are quick to assign, though, is on guns.
Law-Abiding vs. Criminal
CNN attempted to make the connection between increased lawful gun ownership and crime, but their own experts, even those within the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) said that connection isn’t true. Adam Winkler, a professor at UCLA School of Law who specializes in constitutional law and gun policy stated the obvious.
“We shouldn’t necessarily expect a tight connection between the number of background checks and the number of guns that are found at crime scenes,” Winkler told CNN. “Many criminals do not buy their guns at gun stores.”
Thomas Chittum, acting deputy director at the ATF, told CNN in the same report that the “vast majority” of lawfully purchased firearms won’t ever be used in a crime. The ATF’s own Trace Data, which tracks “time-to-crime” from when a firearm is purchased to when it is discovered at a crime scene is still seven years. Bureau of Justice Statistics surveys have shown criminals don’t buy their firearms legally. Over 90 percent obtain them through other means like theft or the black market.
The firearm industry wants criminals locked up. That includes criminals who misuse firearms to prey on the most vulnerable in our society. That requires a focus on enforcing criminal laws on criminals. Pretending crime isn’t a problem doesn’t solve the problem. Blaming guns and law-abiding gun owners for the criminal misdeeds of others doesn’t stop crime.
Naming the problem is the first step in stopping the problem. The problem is, and always has been, crime. If the press secretary wants to know what the consequences of soft-on-crime looks like, I suggest she step out of the protection of the Secret Service at The White House and witness what’s happening across America.
Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.