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September 22, 2023 11:08 am MST

Biden to Announce New Office of Gun Violence Prevention

  • by: Colorado Pols
President Biden is naming Vice President Harris to oversee a new office of gun violence prevention.

While Congressional Republicans are busy fighting amongst themselves over basic governing functions like funding the damn government, President Biden continues to chalk up new accomplishments. During an event this afternoon at the White House Rose Garden, Biden will announce a new office of gun violence prevention.

As POLITICO reports, Biden will task Vice President Kamala Harris with overseeing the new office:

Harris, who has played a leading role in gun safety policy, will oversee the office, according to a White House statement. Longtime Biden aide Stefanie Feldman, who has worked on gun policy for more than a decade, will serve as its director…

…Greg Jackson, executive director of the Community Justice Action Fund, and Rob Wilcox, the senior director for federal government affairs at Everytown for Gun Safety, will report to Feldman as deputy directors of the new office.

For years, gun groups have pleaded with Biden to take this action, which advocates see as a concrete step forward as gun safety legislation remains stalled in Congress. Activists have argued that such an office will help the administration coordinate on gun policy issues across the federal government, while also allowing the White House to show leadership on the issue.

Colorado Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Boulderish), who serves as Vice Chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, helped lead an effort in early 2022 to push the White House to create an office of gun violence prevention.

[mantra-pullquote align=”right” textalign=”left” width=”60%”]“In 2023, there have been more mass shootings than days in the year. It’s long past time we confront this crisis with the urgency it requires.”

— Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Boulderish) [/mantra-pullquote]

Neguse issued a statement on Thursday praising the news:

“In 2023, there have been more mass shootings than days in the year. It’s long past time we confront this crisis with the urgency it requires, ensuring that we are investing in every solution at our disposal to reduce incidents of gun violence, protecting our kids and our families, and building safer communities. I applaud President Biden for heeding the calls of lawmakers across Congress and working to establish an Office of Gun Violence Prevention.”

“Communities in my home state of Colorado are far too familiar with traumatic incidents of gun violence. It’s imperative that we continue to take action to create a country free from the scourge of gun violence. Our work is not over, but this news makes historic progress toward saving lives.”

The Washington Post adds more detail:

Since Biden was elected, gun violence prevention groups have pressed the White House to create such an office, arguing that it would help coordinate efforts across the federal government to reduce gun violence. Activists say this type of office would also allow the White House to exert more leadership on the issue.

“If this announcement is, in fact, the creation of a single point of leadership on gun violence in the administration, it’s a very big deal for the movement,” Shannon Watts, the founder emerita of Moms Demand Action.

Obviously this new office isn’t going to solve the issue of gun violence in America, but it is important to have people close to the President who are working on only this issue. If devoting time and resources specifically to gun violence prevention wasn’t significant, Republicans and gun groups like the National Rifle Association wouldn’t expend so much effort trying to stop it from happening. In 2019, Congress authorized — for the first time — funding dedicated specifically for gun violence research, which opened up a new front of opposition.

As The Los Angeles Times reported in late July:

California is the epicenter of American gun violence research, largely because it maintains an extensive repository of firearms data and, unlike other states, has historically made much of the data available to scientists studying the root causes of gun deaths.

A lawsuit brought by gun-rights activists now threatens that longstanding data infrastructure. And although the federal government began funding gun-violence research again in 2019, following a two-decades-long drought, that funding is under threat from House Republicans, who have vowed to kill it…

…Firearm industry interests, who consistently oppose efforts to provide academics with data on gun violence, know that their political efforts hinder potentially useful research. Laws that block data access “prevent researchers from conducting accurate studies with the number and distribution of firearms as a variable,” Josh Savani, the National Rifle Assn.’s director of research and information, wrote in a 2021 internal report.

As the late author Tom Clancy once said: “The control of information is something the elite always does, particularly in a despotic form of government. Information, knowledge, is power. If you can control information, you can control people.”

Today’s announcement is an important step toward changing that dynamic around guns in America.


9 thoughts on “Biden to Announce New Office of Gun Violence Prevention

  1. I would love to see a Federal excise tax on assault rifles and most handguns, along with their accessories and ammo.  Something starting around 100% to 200% of the retail price of the above.

  2. Perhaps the feds can benefit from looking at Colorado's Office of Gun Violence Prevention

    Created by HB21- 1299(opens in new window), the office will:

    1. Conduct public awareness campaigns to educate about state and federal laws and existing resources relating to gun violence prevention.

    2. Administer a grant program (subject to available money) for organizations to conduct community-based gun violence intervention initiatives focused on interrupting cycles of gun violence, trauma, and retaliation that are evidence-informed and have demonstrated promise at reducing gun violence without contributing to mass incarceration.

    3. Create and maintain a resource bank as a repository for data, research, and statistical information regarding gun violence in Colorado. 

      1. Question:  Is the Border Czar appointed by Greg Abbott responsible only for the southern border with Mexico or does he also have responsibilities to secure the state's western border with New Mexico from Texas women fleeing and seeking to end pregnancies?

    1. I believe Negev is implying that because the so-called "Crisis at the Border" (Fox News' phrase, not mine) has continued unabated since Harris was named Border Czarina, he and his fellow gun nuts have nothing to fear as far as the government taking away any of their guns.

      Of course, that won't stop them from fundraising by scaring their sheep into thinking that Joe and Kamala are coming for their guns! So, give generously! 

    2. April 21, 2021 Washington Post explained

      Republicans are rushing to connect her to the surge in migrants at the border, losing few opportunities to use “Harris” and “border” in the same sentence, often with “czar.”

      Harris’s mission, as directed by Biden, is to meet with heads of state and other officials to tackle the enduring problems, including poverty and violence, that spur people south of the U.S. border with Mexico to migrate to the United States. She is also being briefed by an array of experts on policies that affect the flow of migrants.

      But administration officials, from the president down, have stressed that she is not responsible for dealing with the surge of migrants at the border, including the record number of unaccompanied minors.


      1. The truth of the matter is of no importance to the Republican leadership. They are in obedient service to the 1% of the population that holds a large majority of Americas' wealth. Only the voices of the mighty are heard in the offices of the Republican congress. The President standing with the UAW is a dramatic act of courage. Many have advised against it.

        I dunno…Joe Hill may be just the partner Uncle Joe needs….oh, baby….


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