WILMINGTON, DELAWARE – JULY 26: Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, departs the J. Caleb Boggs Federal Building and United States Courthouse on July 26, 2023 in Wilmington, Delaware. Biden pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges in a deal with prosecutors to avoid prosecution on an additional gun charge. However, the federal judge overseeing the case unexpectedly delayed Biden’s plea deal and deferred her decision until more information is put forth by both the prosecution and the defense. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
There’s no question Hunter Biden is a troubled person. His problems were well documented before his indictment Thursday on a federal firearms charge.
The president’s 53-year-old son has admitted to having a crack cocaine problem that he didn’t disclose when he purchased a handgun in October 2018, according to a federal indictment. The charge comes after a plea deal for Biden failed to materialize that would have allowed him to avoid trial ahead of the 2024 election.
The courts might have more business with Biden, who’s under investigation for his business dealings and could face tax evasion charges in California.
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All of this has made Republicans absolutely giddy, all while they see absolutely no irony in labeling four indictments against their party’s standard bearer a political witch hunt.
No one should suggest that Hunter Biden’s wrongdoings be overlooked if that means equal treatment for Donald Trump. How about we just let the criminal justice system decide the fate of both men and agree that each receive the merited punishment?
In the meantime, it would be wonderful to see the same level of gusto Republicans have for Biden’s alleged disregard for gun laws applied to everyone who wants to but shouldn’t possess a firearm.
Where was the GOP outrage when a then-17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse used an AR-15 type to kill two men in 2020 during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin? Being under 18, it was illegal for him to possess a rifle. Prosecutors refused to try Rittenhouse on the possession charge, and he was acquitted of all murder charges after claiming self-defense. The 18-year-old who bought the weapon Rittenhouse used made a deal with the district attorney that allowed him to avoid jail time.
Just three days after his acquittal, Rittenhouse traveled to Mar-a-Lago and met Trump, who referred to him as “really a nice young man.” The former president claimed Rittenhouse was a victim of, wait for it, “prosecutorial misconduct.” Sound familiar?
Since then, Rittenhouse has become an ultra-conservative darling who’s aligned himself with Texas mega donors to influence Second Amendment policy and elections in the state, according to a Texas Tribune report.
The GOP’s ongoing Hunter Biden hysteria sadly won’t translate into support for the resumption of a nationwide ban on assault weapons his father wants put back in place. During the 10-year ban Congress approved in 1994, mass shootings were 70% less likely to occur, according to a 2019 study. President Joe Biden pledged to restore the assault weapons prohibition but has been unsuccessful thus far.
The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act the president signed last year closes the loophole that allowed “straw” purchasers to buy firearms from dealers for a third party who can’t legally do so themselves. The law also provided needed mental health resources to schools and communities, but this issue should not be conflated with gun violence. Studies show mental illness is a factor in only about 4% of all violence.
Mass shootings and other avoidable gun violence will persist as long as Republicans deny their culpability. With each strike against Hunter Biden they celebrate, GOP gun rights advocates will only further distance themselves from meaningful steps to curb violence in America. The problem will never be theirs to confront, especially when it’s far easier to blame anything that walks and talks liberal.
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