You may have noticed there’s no pro-2A candidate running for president as a Democrat this cycle, which means 2nd Amendment supporters are mostly going to cringe every time one of the two dozen or so candidates opens up their mouth to talk about gun control. They’re all mostly in agreement, though some have still not publicly embraced measures like a federal gun license or a compensated confiscation scheme that requires gun owners turn in banned firearms for some payment from the federal government.
Joe Biden’s clearly not in agreement with Kamala Harris and her desire to issue an executive order banning guns she declares to be “assault weapons”. During a conversation with reporters, Biden mocked the idea.
Biden broadly referenced some of the “really talented people seeking the nomination” but suggested that candidates who believe they can’t work with Republicans to get things done “cash it in, man.”
“How you gonna get anything done without abusing power?” he asked.
“’When I get elected, I’m going to issue an executive order,’” he said in a booming voice, eerily similar to the voice Trump deploys to mock people. “You have no constitutional authority to issue that executive order, the ones they’re talking about. ‘I’m going to eliminate assault weapons’ — can’t do it by executive order any more than Trump can do the things he’s saying he can do by executive order.”
To be clear, Biden didn’t refer to Kamala Harris by name, but since she’s the one claiming that she’ll ban the importation of firearms she defines as “assault weapons”, there’s no doubt who he’s referring to here.
It’s also worth noting that Biden supports an “assault weapons ban”, he just thinks it needs to be done legislatively, and not through executive action. In fact, Biden brought up Harris’ promise of executive orders in order to pitch himself as the type of politician who can bring in support from across the aisle.
He praised the late Arizona Sen. John McCain for his willingness to buck the president and his party when his beliefs called for it, lamenting that there aren’t enough Republicans like him nowadays.
Working across the aisle will be tough, Biden said. But he assured reporters he could pass health care legislation through Congress and a bill fundamentally changing how drug research is funded.
“If I’m wrong, we’re in real trouble,” he warned of his bipartisan approach to politics. “And I don’t know how we do it if we don’t try.”
Biden’s idea of bipartisanship is getting some Republicans to go along with an idea Democrats propose, as opposed to any sort of real give and take or even getting Democrats to go along with an idea dreamt up by a Republican. He might not be successful, but at least the process is constitutional (unlike many of the gun control laws he’s proposing). Attacking Kamala Harris over the way she wants to enact gun control is probably the closest thing to seeing a defense of the 2nd Amendment in this Democratic primary. Hope you enjoyed the moment while it lasted.