No One Likes Biden…On Guns or Much Else

by Vern Evans
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File

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President Joe Biden and his re-election campaign team oddly continue to make his “successes” on “gun violence” a top messaging priority as the 2024 campaign begins to ramp up. At speeches, the president bellows “We’re not done yet!” and vows to “continue the job” of implementing more gun control restrictions that only penalize law-abiding Americans and are ignored by criminals.

He launched a new White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention, staffed by former gun control activists, and his administration continues to bludgeon and suffocate lawful firearm retailers under “zero tolerance.” President Biden did, after all, call the firearm industry “the enemy” when he launched his campaign for the presidency in 2019. Since then, he’s done nearly everything he can possibly think of, including numerous executive orders, to carry out his mission to destroy the Second Amendment and the industry that provides the means to exercise that Constitutional right.

A big problem for President Biden, according to new polling and as reported in TTAG earlier this week, is that not very many people approve of his efforts. In fact, Americans of all stripes disapprove of what the president has done and in an election that will come down to very small margins in a handful of swing states, it’s clear the #GUNVOTE will matter in 2024.

Low Water Mark

The new polling, released by Youguv and The Economist, made one thing abundantly clear: voters on all sides are overwhelming in their disapproval of President Biden on how he has handled firearm issues during his presidency. That’s why the president’s continued focus on pushing more gun control is a headscratcher for someone clinging on for his political life.

According to the poll, just 29 percent of Americans approve of Biden’s performance on guns, marking a seven-point decline from the last time the poll was conducted in February. The 54 percent disapproval mark is up four points from the same previous poll.

“The latest results, taken from a poll conducted between March 24th and the 26th, put Biden at his lowest approval rating on guns since last summer,” analysis from The Reload revealed. “Biden’s poor marks on gun policy come as he continues to pursue an agenda of restricting access to firearms.”

The crosstabs of the in-depth polling spell more troubles for President Biden, demonstrating further that his “whole-of-government” approach of attacking the firearm industry has been an abysmal failure and should be abandoned. Voter disapproval of the president’s efforts on gun restrictions is common across gender, race, age and income. Unsurprisingly, only five percent of self-described Republicans and 24 percent of independents approve of President Biden’s job on guns. But only 25 percent of Democrats disapprove of his handling of guns as well.

All of this voter dissatisfaction of President Biden’s handling of guns and crime is coming at a time when the firearm industry is seeing historic levels of gun purchases, from all demographics. This mirrors the polling, too, as the vast majority of Americans said they viewed guns as a vital issue. More than 80 percent of respondents said the issue was important to them. As more Americans saw their local officials implement defund the police policies and bail reform soft-on-crime laws that jeopardized their safety, they turned to the Second Amendment and chose to purchase firearms. Over the past several years, nearly 30 percent of all gun buyers have been first-time purchasers, according to NSSF industry data.

Allies Getting Angrier

President Biden likes to blame Congress when officeholders block his gun control activist agenda. But that’s the way the system was designed to work and elected officials are standing up for their bosses – the voters. This has meant the president has been forced to do more on his own, through executive orders and policy directives, to try and assuage his gun control activist supporters.

Even his “Fine-I’ll-go-it-my-own-way” attitude isn’t placating the president’s gun control doubters. Within the historically low approval ratings is baked-in dissatisfaction from gun control allies who don’t believe President Biden has done enough.

National gun control groups have repeatedly made their displeasure with the administration known. “He hasn’t really been a leader,” has been the sentiment from March for Our Lives. Giffords gun control has said, “We would like to see more from the Biden administration.” Gun control activist Fred Guttenberg previously put the administration on notice regarding their powers of executive action, saying “They’ve done probably, through executive action, not everything they can do…” Even Manuel Oliver, whose son was tragically killed in the Parkland, Florida, high school shooting and supports gun control efforts, protested at The White House during a ceremony when the president was announcing more executive actions on gun control. Oliver was angry the president hadn’t done more.

“You have to do more!” shouted Oliver at the president.

Voters Watching

As the campaign slogs on heading into the summer, voters continue to watch what’s happening around them. In numerous major cities across the country, crime is still high and Americans from all backgrounds and across all demographics continue to jump off the fence to take ownership of their Second Amendment rights.

The blistering firearm sales pace has kept up with the demand, reaching 56 months in a row of more than 1 million FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) verifications processed at the retail counter. That includes large percentages of African American buyers – specifically African American women – and Hispanic American gun buyers as well. Asian Americans are flocking to the gun counter. Liberal gun owner groups have become popular as they hold group meetings at neighborhood gun ranges. Jewish Americans have purchased firearms in large numbers as antisemitic threats and attacks have picked up, especially in the months since the October 7 Hamas terrorist attack into Israel.

Large numbers of these constituencies have usually, predictably, voted Democratic. But they’ve also recognized what being a responsible and educated firearm owner can do for the safety and security of one’s family and business. Through this process, they’ve experienced firsthand how gun control laws impact their ability to purchase and possess firearms legally and how criminals continue – and will continue – to ignore those laws.

All these aspects have converged to give President Biden the historically low approval ratings on his handling of firearms, gun control and crime. As the numbers of new gun owners continue to grow still ahead of election day, the #GUNVOTE could be the difference in who resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., come next January.

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