During an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” on Wednesday, President Joe Biden explained why he hasn’t issued a broad executive order on gun control.
In a video posted to Jimmy Kimmel’s Twitter account, the comedian asked the president why he couldn’t “issue an executive order” to get the gun control measures he wants implemented.
“Are you unable to issue an executive order? Trump distributed them like Halloween candy “Kimmel cracked a joke.
Though Biden stated that he has done everything “within the power of the presidency” on gun control, he added that he does not want to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor.
“What I don’t want to do — and I’m not joking — is emulate Trump’s abuse of the Constitution and constitutional authority,” Biden said. “I mean that sincerely, because I often get asked, ‘Look, the Republicans don’t play it square. Why do you play it square?’ Well, guess what? If we do the same thing they do our democracy will literally be in jeopardy. Not a joke.”
Kimmel acknowledged Biden’s position but questioned how the president intends to “make any progress.”
“It’s like playing Monopoly with someone who refuses to pass Go and refuses to follow any of the rules,” Kimmel said. “How can you ever make progress if they don’t follow the rules?”
“Well, you gotta send ’em to jail,” Biden responded, referring to the popular board game, drawing laughter from Kimmel and the studio audience.
At another point in the interview, Kimmel expressed disappointment with the progress being made on issues such as climate change and abortion.
“We’ve gone backwards,” he admitted. Later, Kimmel expressed sympathy for Biden’s challenges, particularly the upcoming United States Supreme Court decision that is expected to overturn Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion access nationwide.
“You have a terrible job,” Kimmel said. “I’m delighted you’re doing it. But, boy, does this seem like a bad job.”
Biden said he was looking into executive orders that could help with abortion access — “we’re looking into it right now,” he said — but that legislation and elections were the best ways to solve the problem.
If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, “it’s going to cause a mini revolution, and they’re going to vote a lot of these folks out of office,” Biden predicted. The show was taped in Los Angeles in the afternoon. Biden is in town for this week’s Summit of the Americas, which brings together countries from all over the Americas. First lady Jill Biden attended the event, as did Biden’s granddaughter Naomi and her fiancé.
According to White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, Biden believes that any legislation passed by Congress to address gun violence is preferable to no legislation. Sen. Chris Murphy, the Democrat leading gun-control negotiations with Senate Republicans, has stated that incremental steps are more likely than sweeping legislation.
In his weekly address to the nation, Biden urged lawmakers to reinstate the ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. In the absence of that, the president suggested that Congress raise the age to purchase such firearms from 18 to 21.
He also advocated for stronger background checks and “red flag” laws that allow courts to seize firearms from those deemed a danger to themselves or others.