Biden: We can’t enforce the old laws, so we need more
During the National Rifle Association’s meeting with Vice President Joe Biden and the White House gun violence task force, the vice president said the Obama administration does not have the time to fully enforce existing gun laws.
Jim Baker, the NRA representative present at the meeting, recalled the vice president’s words during an interview with The Daily Caller: “And to your point, Mr. Baker, regarding the lack of prosecutions on lying on Form 4473s, we simply don’t have the time or manpower to prosecute everybody who lies on a form, that checks a wrong box, that answers a question inaccurately.”
Prosecutions for gun law violations have been significantly down over the last few years. In this particular case, over 72,000 applications for a gun license were scuttled by background checks, but only 44 cases of information falsification were prosecuted. But what we really need are even more laws!
There are three lessons to take away from all this:
1. For liberals, a “problem” is “solved” when the government passes laws and expands its power. The actual function of those laws, and their demonstrable effect on the “problem” at hand, are irrelevant. In fact, a good liberal considers it extremely rude to broach the subject. What matters is the political contest surrounding passage of the law. Everything that comes afterward is an intermission between acts of political theater.
2. The Left views government power as a privilege, not a responsibility. Laws are not seen as commitments between people and the State, which the State is bound to honor. The incompetence of the State at addressing its duties is not an obstacle to its quest for greater power.
3. Daniel Greenfield of Front Page Magazine ties Biden’s remarks into the whimsical nature of centralized power:
Some laws are important and some aren’t. And their priority changes at a given moment. Enforcing the unimportant ones is ridiculed, but enforcing the important ones becomes a matter of life and death.
If there wasn’t a penalty for lying on background checks, then Obama would be trotting out adorable kiddies and calling the NRA murderers for not passing a law to criminalize lying on background checks. But now that the law is here, the idea of actually enforcing it is just silly.
A core component of true power is the ability to decide when laws are important, and when they can be ignored. Look at the special dispensation given to NBC News host David Gregory for flagrantly violating D.C.’s strict gun laws in public. A properly humble government would have reluctantly prosecuted Gregory, and admitted that his sad case proves the laws he violated are poorly thought out. A powerful and arrogant government, on the other hand, simply waves the law aside because Gregory is an associate member of the ruling class, and the ruling class reserves the right to exempt itself from laws it finds inconvenient.
So of course a leftist like Joe Biden sees nothing wrong with demanding more laws, in the same breath he admits the State cannot effectively enforce the gigantic volume of law it has already written. Writing laws expands the State. Diligently and impartially enforcing them reveals it is hollow.