President Biden withdrawing from the political battle over firearms, a risky bet

So far, the 79-year-old Democrat seems reluctant to jump into the fight for tougher gun regulations, which is a bit of a personality and a lot of strategic calculation.

Political calculation

The president takes this role of “chief comforter” to heart. “He wants to believe that the Americans, despite their divisions, are able to mourn together the 19 schoolchildren and 2 teachers victims of a shooting at a school in Uvalde (Texas), where he will go with his wife Jill Biden.

But if Joe Biden favors for the moment the register of emotion and questioning – “When for the love of God are we going to face the arms lobby? he exclaimed on Tuesday – it is also by political calculation.

A former senator, attached to parliamentary power, he wants Congress to pass a bill that would generalize the examination of the psychiatric and judicial backgrounds of arms buyers, while prohibiting assault rifles and the massive purchase of ammunition.

Need a handful of Republicans

The White House believes that a strong involvement of Joe Biden, at a time when he is very unpopular in the polls, would disrupt an already acrobatic legislative process more than anything else.

The Democrats, who support the bill, absolutely need to convince a handful of elected Republicans, because of qualified majority rules.

Joe Biden has also so far refrained from openly criticizing the Republican opposition, the majority hostile to any reform. And some of whose members are campaigning for the November legislative elections on their attachment to firearms.

The American executive also argues that a federal law would have much more impact than presidential decrees that are not binding on all American states and can only regulate at the margins.

Before the emotion falls

But several groups campaigning for the regulation of firearms believe, without doubting the convictions of the president, that he must get more involved. Igor Volsky, director of the organization Guns Down America, believes that the president could create an agency in the White House specifically dedicated to firearms, criss-cross the country to meet affected communities, receive activists and put personal pressure on parliamentarians.

Leave a Comment