Biden Administration: We Support the Second Amendment … and We Want to Confiscate Your Guns

Gun Rights

To say the Biden Administration speaks with a forked tongue on the Second Amendment is an understatement. But translating the ultimate message is easy: They want your guns, and they will say or do whatever is necessary to get them.

On Thursday, Kamala Harris – the nominal head of the White House’s recently-launched Office of Gun Violence Prevention – issued a statement on the unfolding events in Lewiston, Me. It was a classic example of doublespeak and dishonesty.

Harris said, “Let us … continue to speak truth about the moment we are in.” Then, in the next sentence, she said something that was demonstrably untrue: “Gun violence is the leading cause of death for children in our nation.” We have debunked this claim on multiple occasions. It has also been exposed by mainstream fact checkers as requiring the exclusion of infants and the inclusion of young adults to be true (which is why “children” is sometimes replaced with the more accurate but still misleading “children and teens”).

But she didn’t stop there. Harris went on to say, “It is a false choice to suggest we must choose between either upholding the Second Amendment or passing reasonable gun safety laws to save lives.” She then gave several examples of what she considered “reasonable gun safety laws,” including “universal” background checks, “red flag” firearm confiscation laws, “high-capacity” magazine bans, and bans on semiautomatic long guns.

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First, these laws do not uphold the Second Amendment. While none of them have been scrutinized by the U.S. Supreme Court, various iterations of at least three out of the four have been ruled unconstitutional under that provision by various lower courts. There is certainly no consensus that they are constitutionally permissible.

Nor has it been convincingly established that any of them “save lives.” A long-running and well-funded effort by the RAND Corporation to review the effects of gun control on violent crime and homicide has determined that the evidence of the four laws’ efficacy is generally “inconclusive,” with only “limited” evidence to support limiting magazine capacity.

But even if one could conceive of a world in which some version of the policies could pass constitutional muster and have some marginal effect on public safety, that is not the world imagined by the Biden Administration. Instead, they seek the most extreme version of these laws yet attempted, a legal regime that would be totally at odds with the text, history, and tradition of the U.S. Constitution.

Harris made that clear the next day, in remarks at a state luncheon whose guests included Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of Australia. Again, Harris used the occasion to exploit the tragic situation in Lewiston, basically repeating her script from the previous day. But then she added: “And let us be clear, it does not have to be this way, as our friends in Australia have demonstrated” (emphasis added).

We have discussed the Australian experience with gun control many times, as it is a regime that has been promoted as a template for America by such gun control stalwarts as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Yet that template means making armed self-defense (which the U.S. Supreme Court has declared the “core” of the Second Amendment) illegal and instituting a “needs-based” firearm licensing system (also invalidated by U.S. Supreme Court precedent). These principals were enforced in Australia through retroactively banning and compelling the surrender of lawfully obtained guns, including handguns and semiautomatic long guns.

There is certainly nothing “reasonable” about recharacterizing peaceable citizens as criminals based merely on possession of guns and magazines lawfully obtained and never misused, nor about threatening them with imprisonment if they don’t turn that property over to the government.

But, make no mistake, that is what is involved in Australian style gun control, a regime arising from a country that has no constitutional protection for the right to keep and bear arms and that treats armed self-defense as a crime. Moreover, the RAND Corp. determined “in total, evidence is weak for an effect of the [Australian gun control regime] on firearm homicides.”

The Biden Administration, in short, is promoting draconian, un-American policies with unproven benefits for public safety.

However they try to couch it, that message and that goal should be rejected by the American people.

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