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Politicizing Violence for Political Gain

April 13, 2021
Weekly Column and Op-Ed

We all agree that senseless acts of violence are unacceptable, and in our nation of law and order, there is no room for gun violence. Unfortunately, the Biden Administration is utilizing heartbreaking crimes to push its agenda.

Manipulating tragedy for political gain is just wrong. The recent shootings in Colorado and Georgia were absolutely devastating for the families and loved ones affected by these events. Now, instead of being allowed to grieve in peace, their lives have been turned into a political circus. And rather than offering viable solutions to prevent these horrific occurrences, the Biden Administration want to infringe upon our constitutional rights.

Last week, President Biden took executive action to circumvent the People’s House and restrict the Second Amendment and due process rights of law-abiding Americans. By doing so, he is effectively chipping away at limits on executive authority and the lawmaking responsibility that belongs solely to Congress.

The President may not like it, but Americans’ right to keep and bear arms is protected by the Constitution that he and every federal lawmaker is sworn to uphold. These unilateral executive actions would not prevent those who want to commit an act of violence from doing so. Rather these actions would target homemade firearms and ban the use of stabilizing braces used for handguns.

Not only were homemade firearms not used in either of the recent tragedies, but the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)’s own published guidance recognizes there are legitimate uses for stabilizing braces. The concept of stabilizing braces “was inspired by the needs of disabled combat veterans who still enjoy recreational shooting but could not reliably control heavy pistols without assistance.”

I am disturbed a government agency would issue guidance that would take away a disabled veteran’s ability to enjoy a constitutionally-protected right. In fact, President Biden has made it clear that his ATF is committed to attacking the constitutionally-protected rights of all law-abiding citizens.

President Biden has ordered the Department of Justice to issue new rules in the next few months that will surely result in unconstitutional overreach. I will continue to oppose any attempt to undermine Americans’ constitutional right to arm and defend themselves or the principle of the separation of powers.

These actions by the Administration come on the heels of legislation passed by Democrats in the House that add more hurdles for Americans to keep themselves and their families safe: penalizing common private transfers, creating a de facto national gun registry, and ending the three-day-process-to-sale.

Infringing upon our Second Amendment rights without addressing the root cause of these acts of violence is not the answer.

We need to start by ensuring our existing laws and systems are working before we pile on new, burdensome regulations that infringe upon our constitutional rights. We should also work with law enforcement officials to look at what other tools we have at our disposal to address these issues. These are the types of common-sense improvements Congress should be making, not a blatant gun grab that will likely only make further acts of violence easier for criminals.

If the Biden Administration want to work across the aisle to improve the enforcement of existing laws instead of creating burdens for law-abiding citizens, I am willing and ready to do so.

I strongly support our constitutional right to keep and bear arms, and I will continue to defend that right on behalf of Central Washington while working with my colleagues to find bipartisan solutions to these horrific crimes. Right now? Let’s put people before politics and say a prayer for the families who were ripped apart instead of politicizing their grief.