President Joe Biden announced last Thursday that all federal workers must be vaccinated. Additionally, he directed the Labor Department to require all employers with more than 100 workers will be forced to ensure that either all employees have received coronavirus vaccinations or to test those employees weekly. That mandate could impact as many as 100 million Americans.
Companies will have to pay for the testing, but they would be allowed to pass the cost on to employees. Companies could face thousands of dollars in fines per employee if they don’t comply. The executive order would require vaccinations for all federal workers with no testing option.
“We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us,” Biden said in the harsh tone that he has recently developed and continued to take in recent weeks.
Second Amendment Fears
Soon after Biden announced that he would instruct the Department of Labor to mandate the vaccines, some supporters of the Second Amendment expressed serious concerns. The president has previously threatened to use executive action on gun control if lawmakers weren’t willing to play along with his demands.
The choice of words of how Biden crafted his vaccine mandate was telling.
“This is not about freedom or personal choice,” the president said. “It’s about protecting yourself [sic] and those around you, the people you work with, the people you care about, the people you love.”
It isn’t too hard to see how the words “guns” or “firearms” could be included in such an argument, warned Second Amendment advocates. Biden hasn’t made much progress with his calls for gun control, and just last week was forced to pull his nominee, David Chipman, to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). Biden has made it clear that if Congress won’t act, he’d use other means – and that could include actions similar to this vaccine mandate.
“If Biden is allowed to impose regulations without a vote by Congress simply because he decides it helps ‘public safety,’ there is no limit to what he can do,” gun advocate John R. Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, told Fox News. “He could use this same reasoning to impose any gun control regulation that he wanted.”
Alan Gottlieb, Chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, also told Fox News that he expressed concern over Biden’s announcement.
“I am very pro-vaccination,” Gottlieb explained. “But Biden’s federal vaccination mandate reminds gun owners that if he could get away with it would use his executive power to mandate as many restrictions on Second Amendment rights as he could. He has already said that gun ownership is a ‘public health’ problem.”
Legal Challenges Coming
It is already expected that Biden’s sweeping vaccine requirements will be met by lawsuits, and already several Republican-led state governments have said they’d challenge the law.
Biden only offered an unapologetic response, “Have at it.”
Legal experts have said that Biden could be on “strong ground” given the severity of Covid-19, but it could be another fight the administration will face. It could also be one that could further divide the nation – and prove that instead of being the unifier who would bring decency back to the nation, Biden’s actions will only serve to further divide the nation.
Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He regularly writes about military small arms, and is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on Amazon.com.