It is time for President Joe Biden to drop the gun control charade. He – and his Capitol Hill gun control supporters – have no interest in curbing criminal misuse of guns. Their only interest is in controlling you. For example, the recent trade of Brittney Griner for a Russian arms dealer clearly demonstrates that.
Brittney Griner Trade Discredits Gun Control Arguments
President Biden’s prisoner swap with Russia of a convicted international arms trafficker for a WNBA star proved that his administration doesn’t care about keeping guns out of the hands of those who should never have them. His only interest regarding guns is keeping them out of the hands of those who obey the law. His overall actions betray his podium admonitions.
‘Merchant of Death’
President Biden announced recently the trade with Russia of Viktor Bout for Brittney Griner. Bout is a notorious international arms smuggler who earned the moniker “Merchant of Death.”
Specifically, he is a former Soviet-era military officer, arrested in 2008 in Thailand by U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents. The arrest was part of a sting for proposing a sale of tens of millions of dollars to the Colombian narco-terrorist group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.
The illicit sale was for $20 million worth of “a breathtaking arsenal of weapons — including hundreds of surface-to-air missiles, machine guns and sniper rifles — 10 million rounds of ammunition and five tons of plastic explosives.”
Bout’s history runs much deeper. In addition, the United Nations identified him as an illicit arms dealer in 2000. He was moving arms to African warlords, Middle East dictators and Central American narco-terrorist groups.
Moreover, his attempt to arm the FARC was what ultimately put him in prison for charges of conspiracy to kill U.S. nationals, U.S. officers and employees, conspiracy to acquire missiles to destroy aircraft and conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.
Bout was traded for Griner, a basketball player arrested by Russia in February on drug possession charges.
Correspondingly, critics have lampooned the swap for how lopsided it is. Russia continues to hold former Marine Paul Whelan, arrested on dubious espionage charges.
Former National Security Advisor and Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton told CBS News, “This is not a deal. This is not a swap. This is a surrender.”
Fox News reported that former DEA Special Operation Director Derek Maltz, who was involved in Bout’s capture, slammed the White House for their “ironic” prisoner swap, arguing that it’s “disgusting” for the Biden administration to sell gun control while celebrating the release of an international arms trafficker.
Even the Pentagon is wary. “I think there is a concern that he would return to doing the same kind of work that he’s done in the past,” a senior defense official told reporters.
The exchange exposes how unserious this administration truly is about ending the criminal misuse of firearms. Less than one day before announcing the swap, President Biden renewed his pledge to ban Modern Sporting Rifles (MSRs) in America.
That pronouncement came just days after he told media, “The idea we still allow semi-automatic weapons to be purchased is sick. Just sick. It has no socially redeeming value. Zero. None. Not a single solitary rationale for it except profit for the gun manufacturers.”
White House Remains Silent
The White House is mum on Bout’s Russian return. However, it hasn’t gone unnoticed that within days of returning to Russia, Bout joined the pro-Kremlin Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), an ultranationalist right-wing political group.
That political party supports Russia’s Ukraine invasion and demands Russia “reconquer” previously-held territories. Likewise, he’s reportedly considering a run for Russia’s parliament, but is being coy with answers for now.
This is a pattern for President Biden. Similarly, the White House left $7 billion in weapons and equipment in the wake of the ill-fated Afghanistan withdrawal. That consisted of 600,000 weapons – including 350,000 M-4 and M-16 rifles, 60,000 machine guns and 25,000 grenade launchers.
That’s on top of the 23,825 Humvees in Afghanistan, including armored gun truck variants, and nearly 900 combat vehicles. They are currently in the hands of the Taliban, a terror organization that is the enemy of the United States.
Move Along, Nothing to See
The White House ordered U.S. agencies to scrub any reference to those reports. It is additionally doing a similar clean-up with the lopsided prisoner swap, calling in support from gun control allies on Capitol Hill.
U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) downplayed the significance of the release of an international arms trafficker, despite the Pentagon’s concerns. Congresswoman Jackson Lee claimed Bout wasn’t directly responsible for American deaths. So, releasing an arms trafficker isn’t a concern to her.
“Let me say this, no one knows the story of Paul — of the weapons dealer, if you will,” she said on MSNBC’s The ReidOut, according to Breitbart. “And — as the facts would tell them, he was sentenced to 25 years, he served 11 to 16 years, I don’t know the — I can’t remember the exact number. But in actuality, his weapons might have been used to kill Americans. He has not killed Americans.”
President Biden’s gun control agenda has never been about stopping criminals. It’s always been about stopping law-abiding Americans from exercising their overall God-given rights.
Story originally posted to NSSF.org.