Gov’t ‘Agencies Are Being Weaponized’ Against Conservatives on Guns: Congressman
Rather than address the root causes of mass shootings, Democrats “want to use” rampant crime “as a reason to take every law-abiding citizen’s gun away,” a Republican congressman said Wednesday.
His comments come as talks to formalize gun restrictions appear to have hit a snag in the U.S. Senate, where a bipartisan coalition cannot find common ground on the bill’s wording. A group of 11 Republicans had previously signaled support for a nebulous framework that expanded red flag laws, which allow the government to remove firearms from an individual without due process.
Giving the government the right to remove citizens’ ability to defend themselves should concern voters, said Rep. Greg Steube (R-Fla.) — a threat highlighted by the Biden administration’s selective enforcement of laws. “This administration is weaponizing their agencies,” including the FBI, to promote “their far-Left agenda,” said Steube. “They’re using force to do that.”
“Is this really about stopping violence, or is this about controlling guns and who has them?” Tony Perkins asked the congressman on Wednesday’s “Washington Watch.”
“This is all about their agenda, and their agenda is to take firearms from law-abiding citizens,” Steube answered.
Denying gun ownership, an unalienable right enshrined in the Second Amendment, will do nothing to address such fundamental causes of crime as broken families, he added. A “large majority of those who commit violent crime,” including multiple-victim shootings and rape, are “from fatherless homes,” Steube noted.
Numerous studies have highlighted the harmful effects of a fatherless home, including increased rates of lawbreaking:
- Relying on peer-reviewed data, the Justice Department has stated “the most reliable indicator of violent crime in a community is the proportion of fatherless families”;
- As many as 75% of all adolescent murderers came from a home that lacked a father, according to a Michigan State University study;
- “Among the 25 most-citedschool shooters since Columbine, 75 percent were reared in broken homes,” noted Heritage Foundation scholar Emilie Kao; and
- “Several recent studies indicate that growing up outside a family with two biological, married parents yields especially negative consequences for boys as compared to girls, including worse educational outcomes and higher rates of criminal involvement,” said a 2020 study from Princeton’s Public Policy School and the left-of-center Brookings Institution.
“Why aren’t we talking about the fact that we’ve taken God out of our schools, that we have an epidemic of fatherless children?” asked Steube. “That is the real moral dystopia that we have in our country, that the majority wants to talk nothing about. They want to use that as a reason to take every law-abiding citizen’s gun away.”
Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) raised the confluence of family breakdown and societal violence with his colleagues last month. “Could things like fatherlessness, the breakdown of families, isolation from civil society or the glorification of violence be contributing factors?” he asked, before being pilloried.
After the Uvalde school shooting, enough Republicans in the evenly divided Senate teamed up with Democrats to overcome a filibuster. But they now find themselves at loggerheads with liberals over a host of issues, including whether to deny federal grants to the 31 states that have not adopted red flag laws. “I’m starting to get a little concerned,” admitted Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas). “We’ve got to settle these issues or else we’re talking about jeopardizing the whole deal.”
Scrapping the deal would be better than enacting counterproductive gun restrictions, according to Steube. “Let’s not make gun-free zones that are a target for lunatics and crazy people in our country,” he said. Since 1950, no less than 94% of all successful mass shootings in the U.S. have taken place in gun-free areas, according to the Crime Prevention Research Center. “Let’s put armed, trained individuals in all these places,” Steube advised. “These shooters don’t go into a gun shop, or a pawn shop, or an airport or other places where they know that … there are concealed carry permit carriers.”
The congressman added that, if Democrats “genuinely cared about the health and safety of Americans,” they would do something to restrict the flow of fentanyl across the U.S. border with Mexico. Fentanyl overdoses have replaced car accidents as the number one killer of young Americans between the ages of 18 and 45, according to an analysis of CDC data by the nonprofit Families Against Fentanyl.
“They’re doing nothing to stop that,” said Steube. “They want open borders.”
Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.