Thursday, July 18, 2024
Firearm legislation and regulations

Expectations vs. Reality: What Anti-Gunners Hoped for from a Biden Reelection on Gun Control

Expectations vs. Reality: What Anti-Gunners Hoped for from a Biden Reelection on Gun Control

When Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election, anti-gunners erupted with optimism and hope. For years, they had been advocating for stricter gun control measures in the US, but their efforts had consistently fallen flat. With Biden in the White House and a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress, it seemed like their moment. They expected bold and sweeping legislation, with

universal background checks

, a ban on

assault weapons

, and closure of the “gun show loophole” all on the table. Some even dreamed of a repeal of the

Second Amendment


But as the months passed, reality began to set in. Biden’s gun control agenda stalled in Congress, and even modest proposals like

red flag laws

faced fierce opposition. Anti-gunners were disappointed and disillusioned, with many feeling that Biden had betrayed them. They pointed to political realities – like the power of the National Rifle Association and the reluctance of moderate Democrats to alienate gun owners – as reasons for the lack of progress. Some began to question whether any meaningful gun control legislation was possible in the US.

Despite these setbacks, anti-gunners remain committed to their cause. They continue to advocate for change and push for reforms at the state and local level. And while they may not have achieved all of their goals yet, they take solace in the fact that the conversation around gun control has shifted in recent years. With public support for stricter gun laws at an all-time high and a growing number of young activists entering the debate, they remain hopeful that change is on the horizon.

In the meantime, they will continue to pressure Biden and Congress to take action. They know that the fight for gun control is a long one, but they are determined to see it through. And while they may not have gotten everything they hoped for in this election cycle, they remain confident that their voices will ultimately be heard.

So what can we take away from this experience? That expectations and reality don’t always align. That progress often comes slower than we’d like it to. But that doesn’t mean giving up. Instead, it means continuing to push for change, even when the going gets tough.

Expectations vs. Reality: What Anti-Gunners Hoped for from a Biden Reelection on Gun Control

I. Introduction

Gun control, a contentious issue in the U.S., has been a subject of heated debates for decades.

Historical Context

The origins of gun control legislation in America can be traced back to the late 18th century, with the first federal firearms regulations enacted in 179Since then, the pendulum has swung between stricter gun control measures and more permissive policies. The Massachusetts Bay Colony passed the country’s first gun control laws as early as 1642, limiting citizens to one gun and one bullet. Fast forward to modern times, and the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, adopted in 1791, states: “The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Divisive Nature

This constitutional provision has been the source of much controversy and has fueled a deeply divisive national conversation. Gun control proponents argue that regulations are necessary to reduce gun violence, improve public safety, and protect the well-being of citizens. Opponents, on the other hand, contend that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual’s right to bear arms and that additional gun control measures infringe upon their civil liberties.

Importance of Understanding Expectations vs. Reality in Gun Control Discourse

Amidst this ongoing debate, it is crucial to recognize that the expectations and realities of gun control policies can often differ significantly. This discrepancy has led to confusion, frustration, and polarization among stakeholders. In this context, it is essential to delve deeper into the complexities of gun control policies and their implications for public safety and individual rights.

Expectations vs. Reality: What Anti-Gunners Hoped for from a Biden Reelection on Gun Control

Pre-Election Expectations

Analysis of Anti-Gunner Sentiments Leading Up to the 2020 Election

As the 2020 presidential election approached, anti-gun sentiments gained significant momentum. Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee, had a long-standing history on gun control that resonated with many voters. During his tenure as Vice President under Barack Obama, he advocated for several gun control measures, including an assault weapons ban, universal background checks, and licensing and registration. These proposals have remained central to the Democratic Party’s platform, and Biden’s stance on gun control became a major point of contention during the election.

The political climate and public opinion also played a significant role in shaping the pre-election expectations for gun control. The country was grappling with an alarming increase in gun violence, which put immense pressure on lawmakers to take action. Furthermore, there were changing demographics and generational shifts that influenced public opinion. Younger generations have expressed stronger support for gun control measures compared to their older counterparts, which could potentially swing the balance of power in favor of anti-gun legislation.

Moreover, advocacy groups, such as Everytown for Gun Safety and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, intensified their efforts in pushing for gun control measures. These organizations used various strategies, including grassroots campaigns and lobbying, to influence voters and lawmakers.

Expected Legislative Priorities for Gun Control Under a Biden Administration

If elected, Joe Biden‘s administration was expected to prioritize gun control measures. In the immediate aftermath of his victory, he could take several executive actions, such as:

  1. Restoring Obama-era regulations: Biden could reinstate the regulations that were relaxed during the Trump administration, such as those concerning bump stocks and background checks.
  2. Reinstating the ban on bump stocks: This would prevent the modification of semi-automatic weapons to make them function like fully automatic guns.
  3. Establishing a national red flag law: This would allow authorities to confiscate firearms from individuals deemed a threat to themselves or others.

In terms of proposed legislative measures, Biden and the Democrats were expected to pursue:

  1. Universal background checks: This would expand background checks to cover all gun sales and transfers, including private sales and those conducted at gun shows.
  2. Assault weapons ban: This would prohibit the manufacture, sale, and possession of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
  3. Licensing and registration: This would require individuals to obtain a license and register their firearms with the government.
  4. Closing the Charleston Loophole: This would ensure that background checks are completed before gun sales are finalized.

Expectations vs. Reality: What Anti-Gunners Hoped for from a Biden Reelection on Gun Control

I Post-Election Reality

Analysis of the Actual Gun Control Agenda under the Biden Administration

Upon taking office, President Joe Biden made it clear that gun control would be a priority for his administration. In May 2022, he signed several executive orders aimed at addressing gun violence. These orders focused on three main areas: ghost guns, stabilizing braces, and the establishment of a national red flag law task force. The executive actions were a response to congressional inaction on gun control legislation.

Executive Actions

The executive orders on gun control included measures to address the proliferation of untraceable firearms, known as ghost guns. The Biden administration also took steps to clarify the definition and regulation of stabilizing braces, which can convert a pistol into a short-barreled rifle. Additionally, President Biden established a task force to explore the possibility of implementing a national red flag law.

Explanation of Challenges Faced by the Biden Administration in Advancing Gun Control Legislation

Despite these executive actions, advancing gun control legislation through Congress proved to be a significant challenge for the Biden administration. One major hurdle was the political divides and opposition from Republicans. In the Senate, the filibuster rule made it difficult to pass gun control bills with a simple majority. Furthermore, state-level resistance to gun control measures further complicated the process.

Political Divides and Opposition from Republicans

The filibuster in the Senate required 60 votes to pass most legislation, making it a major obstacle for gun control advocates. Republicans were largely opposed to any new restrictions on firearms. They argued that the Second Amendment protected an individual’s right to bear arms and that existing gun laws were sufficient.

State-Level Resistance

Further complicating matters was state-level resistance to gun control measures. Several states, particularly in the South and Midwest, passed laws protecting their residents’ right to carry concealed weapons without a permit or license. These states also resisted efforts to implement stricter background check requirements or bans on certain types of firearms.

Biden’s Prioritization of Other Issues

During the first two years of his term, President Biden focused on other legislative priorities, including infrastructure and climate change. This meant that gun control remained a secondary issue, further limiting the chances of passing significant legislation during this period.

Expectations vs. Reality: What Anti-Gunners Hoped for from a Biden Reelection on Gun Control

Impact and Implications

Evaluating the success or failure of Biden’s gun control agenda

The impact and implications of President Joe Biden’s gun control agenda have been a topic of intense debate among various stakeholders. Let’s explore this issue from the perspectives of both anti-gunners and gun rights advocates.

Perspective from anti-gunners:

Anti-gunners, advocating for stricter gun control measures, have expressed frustration and disappointment with the progress made so far under Biden’s administration. Although there have been some executive actions, such as the requirement for background checks for most gun sales and transfers, they argue that these steps do not go far enough. In response, calls for more action and increased pressure on Democrats to push for comprehensive legislation have intensified.

Perspective from gun rights advocates:

On the other hand, gun rights advocates have celebrated victories in maintaining Second Amendment rights. Despite Biden’s ambitious agenda, they argue that the administration’s approach has failed to gain significant traction in Congress. This has led some advocates to feel confident and galvanized, using this momentum to challenge the Biden administration’s efforts and further solidify their stance on gun rights.

Future implications for gun control discourse and advocacy

Moving forward, the evolution of anti-gunner strategies and messaging is essential to understand. One potential trend is a focus on state and local initiatives, as the federal government seems unable or unwilling to enact sweeping gun control reforms. Additionally, there is a growing emphasis on public opinion and grassroots activism, as anti-gunners aim to build support for their cause through community engagement and awareness campaigns.

Evolution of anti-gunner strategies and messaging:

As gun control advocacy continues to evolve, the role of state and local initiatives becomes increasingly important. These efforts could include stricter regulations on firearms sales, background checks, and even bans on certain types of weapons or high-capacity magazines. Moreover, grassroots activism is expected to play a crucial role in shaping public opinion and pressuring elected officials to support gun control measures.

Potential impact on the midterm elections and beyond:

The implications of gun control discourse extend beyond the current administration. In the context of midterm elections and beyond, gun control is poised to play a significant role in voter turnout and candidate endorsements. Gun rights organizations, such as the National Rifle Association (NRA), have long been influential in mobilizing voters and endorsing candidates that align with their agenda. Conversely, anti-gunners are also expected to capitalize on this issue, using it as a rallying cry for voters dissatisfied with the lack of action on gun control.


The future of gun control in America will be shaped by various factors, including the evolution of strategies and messaging from both sides, as well as their influence on public opinion, voter turnout, and political endorsements. As this debate continues to unfold, it is essential to remain informed about the latest developments and their potential implications for our communities and society as a whole.