By: Peter Suciu
Last month, gun control advocates expressed sincere disappointment with President Joe Biden and his lack of efforts to enact new legislation. In fact, President Biden, who has faced diminishing polling numbers, has largely been silent on the issue – which could explain why he took a move from former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s playbook never to let a serious crisis go to waste.
Biden attempted to suggest that gun control efforts could have stopped Malik Faisal Akram from obtaining a firearm prior Saturday’s synagogue attack in Texas. The 44-year-old Akram, a British national, held several individuals hostage for more than 10 hours before federal agents stormed the synagogue, killing Akram.
In yet the latest example of Biden salad, the president stated, “Allegedly, [Akram] purchased…[the weapons] on the street. Now what that means, I don’t know. Whether he purchased it from an individual in a homeless shelter or a homeless community, or whether — because that’s where he said he was — it’s hard to tell. I just don’t know.
“…The guns are — we should be — the idea of background checks are critical,” Biden continued.
“But you can’t stop something like this if someone is on the street buying something from somebody else on the street. Except that there’s too — there’s so many guns that have been sold of late; it’s just ridiculous,” Biden said. “And it’s because of the failure of us to focus as hard as we should and as consistent as we should on gun purchases, gun sales, ghost guns, and a whole range of things that I’m trying to do.”
Getting past the fact that this was a rambling, off-the-cuff comment from Biden – who seemed completely ill-prepared to address the issue – it shows a deep misunderstanding of the situation. Clearly, Akram bought a gun illegally. Period.
Yet, Biden used the standoff to call out the fact that many Americans legally exercised their Second Amendment rights. The president may have based his opinion that “so many guns that have been sold” on the 38.8 million National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) checks in 2021, but the purpose of the FBI system is to make sure guns don’t end up in the hands of criminals or terrorists.
Akram, as a British national, could have never legally been able to purchase a gun, yet Biden attempted to play the guilt by association card, making Americans who may have purchased a firearm ponder their decision.
Where the issue becomes even worse is that Biden refused to label the incident as terror-related, despite the fact that Akram reportedly made demands that convicted terrorist Aafia Siddiqui, dubbed “Lady Al-Qaeda,” be released from the Carswell Air Force Base in Texas, during the hostage situation.
“Well, no, I don’t. We don’t have — I don’t think there is sufficient information to know about why he targeted that synagogue or why he insisted on the release of someone who’s been in prison for over 10 years, why he was engaged — why he was using antisemitic and anti-Israeli comments. I — we just don’t have enough facts,” Biden said.
In summary, the leader of the free world couldn’t see that Saturday’s hostage situation was terror-related, yet also seems to believe that because there are so many legally purchased firearms in private hands it somehow resulted in a (alleged) terrorist obtaining a gun illegally. Of course, just as Biden couldn’t bring himself to label Akram a terrorist he made no mention the gun was illegal – just that it was bought on the streets.
Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He regularly writes about military small arms, and is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on Amazon.com.