EDITORIAL: Joe Biden’s anti-crime plan is window dressing that will do little to combat violent crim

The Biden Justice Department must think that members of the Missouri legislature and Gov. Mike Parson have a case of collective amnesia.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian Boynton in a June 16 letter warned Missouri officials that a bill Mr. Parson signed into law four days earlier banning police in the state from enforcing federal gun rules runs contrary to federal law.

In his letter, Mr. Boynton insisted that the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause means that federal gun laws must prevail over state law on the matter.

Ordinarily, we’d be inclined to agree with the assertion that federal law trumps conflicting state laws, except for one thing: We’ll believe the Biden Justice Department’s concern for the Supremacy Clause when it sends similar letters to all of the left-wing so-called “sanctuary” cities and states shielding illegal aliens to remind them they are likewise obliged to follow — and help enforce — federal immigration laws.

Given President Biden’s aggressive non-enforcement of the latter, Mr. Boynton must be counting on Missouri officials forgetting that illegal-immigration “sanctuary” jurisdictions have gotten a total pass on their noncompliance. They’re certainly not facing the prospect of having federal funds withheld to force compliance the way Missouri is.

Missouri is in good — and growing — company as a “Second Amendment sanctuary” jurisdiction. According to the website Sanctuarycounties.com, as of June 18, “[t]here are now 1,930 counties that are protected by Second Amendment Sanctuary legislation at either the state or county level.” It further notes that that represents about 61.4% of all counties in the U.S.

Mr. Boynton’s metaphorical shot across Missouri officials’ bow was fired a week ahead of Mr. Biden’s June 23 unveiling of an embarrassingly insubstantial “anti-crime plan.”

That plan calls for getting tougher on gun dealers who break federal firearms laws (a minuscule part of the problem), establishing strike forces against weapons trafficking in several Democrat-controlled cities facing sharp spikes in violent crime, and increasing funding for the ATF. All of those measures target guns, but not the criminals who use them in the commission of crimes.

Mr. Biden also urged cities and states to redirect some of their unspent federal COVID-19 relief funding to community support and summer jobs programs for teens. (That’s reminiscent of the risible Clinton-era “midnight basketball” program as an “anti-crime” initiative.)

Even The Associated Press’ report on Mr. Biden’s “Comprehensive Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gun Crime and Ensure Public Safety” raised doubts about its likely efficacy: “[Q]uestions persist about how effective the efforts can be in what could be a turbulent summer.”

“The public safety of the people of the United States and citizens of Missouri is paramount,” Mr. Boynton insisted in his letter to the Show Me State.

But what Mr. Biden’s “anti-crime plan” really shows is that it’s just for show and that he’s not really serious about combating violent crime.

Sign up for Daily Opinion Newsletter


Also rEAd