The Myth Of "Moderate" Joe Biden

Even with Bernie Sanders announcing that he’s staying in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, odds are that it’ll be Joe Biden squaring off against Donald Trump in the November election, and Biden’s supporters are going to be spinning like crazy to try to present Biden as the moderate choice between the extremes of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. In fact, Team Biden has to be pretty pleased with Bernie remaining in the race as a foil to Biden, allowing him and his surrogates to paint him as the middle-of-the-road, return-to-normalcy candidate.

As Townhall’s Ellie Bufkin reminds us in a new column, however, Biden’s policies are anything but moderate, including his stance on the Second Amendment. Not only has Biden embraced Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke and vowed to put him in charge of gun control efforts, his own agenda outlines policies that would greatly diminish our right to keep and bear arms.

  • Ban the manufacture and sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Joe Biden will enact legislation to once again ban assault weapons. This time, the bans will be designed based on lessons learned from the 1994 bans. For example, the ban on assault weapons will be designed to prevent manufacturers from circumventing the law by making minor changes that don’t limit the weapon’s lethality. While working to pass this legislation, Biden will also use his executive authority to ban the importation of assault weapons. 
  • Regulate possession of existing assault weapons under the National Firearms Act. Currently, the National Firearms Act requires individuals possessing machine-guns, silencers, and short-barreled rifles to undergo a background check and register those weapons with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Due to these requirements, such weapons are rarely used in crimes. As president, Biden will pursue legislation to regulate possession of existing assault weapons under the National Firearms Act.
  • Buy back the assault weapons and high-capacity magazines already in our communities. Biden will also institute a program to buy back weapons of war currently on our streets. This will give individuals who now possess assault weapons or high-capacity magazines two options: sell the weapons to the government, or register them under the National Firearms Act.
  • Reduce stockpiling of weapons. In order to reduce the stockpiling of firearms, Biden supports legislation restricting the number of firearms an individual may purchase per month to one.

Let’s go through some of Biden’s malarkey here. Biden claims that because machine guns, suppressors, and short-barreled rifles aren’t used in a lot of crimes, the reason must be because they’re regulated under the National Firearms Act. What Biden leaves out is that so-called assault weapons aren’t used in a lot of crimes either. In fact, according to the FBI, in 2018 there were 297 homicides in the United States in which a rifle of any type was used. There were 672 homicides in which fists or feet were the murder weapon of choice.

Biden also wants to dramatically expand the use of the National Firearms Act to include some of the most commonly owned arms in the country. Not only are there tens of millions of firearms that would fall under Biden’s definition of “assault weapon,” there are hundreds of millions of ammunition magazines that can accept more than ten rounds of ammunition in the hands of American gun owners.

Biden’s gun control plans get even worse. According to his own website, Biden also supports:

  • universal background checks
  • banning the online sale of firearms, parts, and ammunition
  • providing grants to states to establish “red flag” and gun licensing laws
  • 100% “transition” to so-called smart guns
  • criminalizing allowing a minor access to a firearm, even for self-defense or hunting
  • a federal “lost or stolen” law
  • a federal lgun storage law
  • a federal prohibition on armed school staff.

The really sad thing is it took a random voter like Jerry Wayne to ask Biden some actual questions about his gun control policy, and we saw how well that went for Biden. There are a lot of questions that should be asked of Biden about a lot of his other policies, but unfortunately I don’t think there are enough reporters or anchors who know enough about the issue to do a deep dive with the candidate on his proposals. Frankly, there also aren’t many in the media who are interested in giving Biden tough questions in the first place, much less about gun control. They’re on board and rooting for him, and helping to build that myth of moderation.