Retired Admiral William McRaven has come out in support of Joe Biden, describing himself in a Wall Street Journal column as a pro-Second Amendment conservative who’s voting for the Democratic ticket this year, but like the rest of Biden’s supposed pro-2A supporters, it turns out that McRaven has a long history of embracing radical gun control policies.
Admiral William McRaven (ret), former commander of Special Ops during OBL raid, writes: “Truth be told, I am a pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, small-government, strong-defense and a national-anthem-standing conservative. But… https://t.co/lVE10i8Hjn
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) October 20, 2020
On today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co we look back at McRaven’s opposition to pro-gun policies and his embrace of anti-gun activists as an example of why “I support the Second Amendment” is one of the most meaningless phrases in politics. If McRaven, who gained national fame for overseeing the raid on the Pakistan compound where Osama bin Laden was hiding out, wants to support Biden, he should just say so. Trying to make it seem like an ardent supporter of the Second Amendment is crossing the aisle in order to vote for the Biden/Harris ticket isn’t honorable, however. It’s deceptive and misleading, which unfortunately is par for the course when it comes to Biden’s outreach to gun owners.
McRaven’s support for the Second Amendment was nowhere to be found when he was chancellor of the University of Texas system back in 2015. When lawmakers were poised to pass a campus carry bill, McRaven vocally objected (unlike the chancellor of the Texas A&M system), complaining in a letter to lawmakers that allowing concealed carry holders to carry on campus just like they do off-campus would somehow put people at risk.
In his letter, McRaven cautions that his opposition to the proposal stems from his concern for the safety of students, faculty and staff. He said his office has received calls from those groups, as well as law enforcement and mental health professionals, raising concerns about campus carry.
“There is great concern that the presence of handguns, even if limited to licensed individuals age 21 or older, will lead to an increase in both accidental shootings and self-inflicted wounds,” he wrote.
He also cited concerns about allowing weapons in the university system’s hospitals, where emotions run high, and laboratories, where chemicals and high tech equipment are in use.
I’ve yet to meet a Second Amendment supporter who believes that “the presence of handguns, even if limited to licensed individuals age 21 or older” should be curtailed, but that’s exactly the position that McRaven took. Despite his objections, legislators approved the campus carry bill, and there’ve been virtually no issues in the years since.
McRaven also embraced the March for Our Lives movement after the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018. Rather than pointing out the multiple failures of law enforcement and school officials to deal with the suspect in the years, months, and even days before the attack, McRaven chose to pin the blame on our nation’s gun laws, tweeting out “”I could not be prouder of them! This is exactly what we need the youth of America to do: to stand strong, to stand together, to challenge the laws that have not served them well.”
I actually went looking for quotes from McRaven that would indicate any sort of genuine support for the Second Amendment rather than gun control, but I couldn’t find any. Instead, when McRaven has spoken up on the issue, it’s been in support of more gun control laws, not the right to keep and bear arms.
Of course, this kind of deception isn’t new in politics. As I said, “I support the Second Amendment” is one of the most overused and meaningless phrases in politics today, with everyone from Joe Biden to Mark Kelly to Michael Bloomberg saying they support the right while doing everything they can to curtail it.
Even “Sportsmen and Sportswomen for Biden” pretend to support the Second Amendment, claiming that “under the Biden administration there will be a strong partnership with Americans who believe in protecting the right of firearms ownership and the lives of innocent citizens.”
In actuality, Biden would ban some of the most commonly owned firearms and ammunition magazines in the country, making it a federal crime punishable by up to ten years in prison to maintain possession of the so-called assault weapons and large capacity magazines without paying $200 per item to register them with the government. He would ban the online sale of ammunition, dramatically curtailing the ability of rural Americans to purchase ammunition for self-defense, hunting, and recreation.
Biden’s also vowing to repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, allowing gun control groups to work with cities and individuals to sue firearms manufacturers for the actions of criminals. This strategy would bankrupt the firearms industry, making it nearly impossible for anyone to purchase a gun. He wants to mandate “smart gun” technology for all new firearms, even though there’s little demand among gun owners.
There’s literally nothing in Biden’s campaign plan that demonstrates any support for the Second Amendment whatsoever. In fact, his campaign website even states that Biden believes the Second Amendment is “limited.” Limited to what, exactly? Biden doesn’t say, and to my knowledge he’s never been asked that question, just like Admiral McRaven has never been asked any specifics about his “support” for the right to keep and bear arms.
For the media, it’s enough to simply express support. The details are unimportant. For gun owners on the other hand, the devil is in the details, and the details of Biden’s gun control agenda make it plain that both he and surrogates like McRaven support more gun control laws far more than they support the right to keep and bear arms.