Responding to a question from an 18-year old March For Our Lives activist from Milwaukee, Senator Elizabeth Warren declared that, if elected president, she will reduce gun deaths by 80% in less than a decade. The young activist pointed out that the March For Our Lives Peace Plan calls for reducing gun-related deaths by 50% in ten years, but Warren’s plan, which has promised the 80% reduction, was vague on the timeline.
Eight years, said Warren, adding “That’s known as two terms as president.”
How will Warren achieve those results? By treating guns like America treated cars in the 1960’s, she said. Back then, Americans decided to do something about automobile deaths, and they didn’t just do one or two things.
“We came back to it and came back to it and came back to it. We studied what worked and what didn’t work, and over time we reduced deaths by auto by more than 80%.”
Warren believes that when it comes to gun control, it’s going to take the same open-ended approach to reduce gun-related deaths, which sounds like she’ll support trying anything if she thinks it might help. What if it violates the constitutional rights of Americans? Warren literally laughed off that question when it came to her proposal to limit gun purchases to one per month, telling moderator Craig Melvin, “The Supreme Court has said multiple times we can put restrictions on the sale of guns, so I don’t think this one is a problem at all.” She then went on to include banning the most commonly sold rifle in the country and requiring background checks on all transfers of firearms as similarly unproblematic, constitutionally speaking.
One of Warren’s campaign themes is changing the power structure in Washington, and she brought that up to explain why, if gun control is so popular, it never passes through Congress. It’s the fault of who has power, according to Warren, and right now we have “a government that works really well for the gun industry and not for your family, and we’ve got to change that in 2020.”
The real reason that gun control hasn’t passed Congress in more than 20 years is the same reason you haven’t seen a lot of gun control laws passed at the state level either, except in deep blue enclaves: most people don’t think gun control laws will do much good, even if they support them. And when people actually get a chance to vote on things like “universal background checks”, the votes are far closer than opinion polls would suggest.
Warren originally danced around the question of why she supports gun rationing, offering instead a rambling definition of the various forms of gun violence, but when pressed, she claimed that limiting gun purchases to one-per month “keeps people from bulking up in the middle of a crisis”, which is really strange argument to make. Most of the arguments in favor of a gun rationing law attempt to justify it on the basis of reducing firearm trafficking, not trying to prevent people from “bulking up” (maybe Warren is thinking about how heavy AR-15’s are, according to Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee).
Warren had the crowd energized, and with Bernie Sanders suspending his campaign activities, at least for now, she stands a pretty good chance of siphoning off more of his support and emerging as the clear front runner in the days to come. Gun owners would be wise to read up on Warren’s gun control plan, because something very similar could be coming to a Democrat Party platform plank in a matter of months.