Column: Biden’s reluctance on gun reform disappointing, understandable

Lindsey Ulrey

On Friday President Biden received a lot of backlash after he said that gun control would not be his next priority even after the two mass shootings in a week. Biden initially said on Tuesday that he did not need to “wait another minute” to address the epidemic of gun violence, calling on the Senate to pass a ban on assault weapons and to close background check loopholes. Biden then disappointed gun control proponents on Thursday when he sidestepped the issue.

Biden was asked if he had made any decision on sending legislation to Congress that would repeal protections for gun manufacturers against civil liability for their products or taking executive actions such as funneling funds to states and cities to battle gun violence.

“All the above,” Biden responded. “It’s a matter of timing. … Successful presidents before me … they’re successful because they know how to time what they’re doing.”

Kris Brown, president of Brady: United Against Gun Violence said, “I am disappointed, I will say, at what I heard from him.” Maisha Fields, the vice president of organizing for Brady: United Against Gun Violence said, “I am disappointed he has the nerve and audacity to say he’s going to do things in sequential order. It is out of order to have to bury your child. It’s out of order to be shopping for eggs and to have your life disrupted.”

Gun control supporters were surprised and appalled in this shift because just a year ago Biden said, “every day that we do nothing in response, it is an insult to the innumerable lives across this nation that have been forever shattered by gun violence.”

“I was very frustrated that he pivoted to infrastructure week,” said Igor Volsky, the founder of Gun Down America.

That the administration has not approached gun legislation with the same intensity that it brought to its $1.9 trillion pandemic rescue plan — which passed with no Republican support — only added to his frustration, he said.

“We saw what they can do when they hit the gas pedal,” Volsky said. “They got it across despite unanimous opposition. That’s the kind of leadership we need to see on this issue.”

Biden’s choice to sidestep gun control was surprising to everyone due to his past support for gun control.

I think he did this because Biden knows better than anyone how difficult it would be to pass significant gun control legislation.


Lindsey Ulrey is a freshman political science major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]