During the 90+ minutes of back and forth between Joe Biden and Donald Trump on Tuesday evening, one issue was oddly absent during the debate: the right to keep and bear arms. Neither candidate chose to incorporate either their gun control plans or support for the right to keep and bear arms in their responses to questions from moderator Chris Wallace, even though there were multiple chances to do so.
On today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co we delve into the debate itself and highlight several areas where Donald Trump could have aimed his rhetorical fire at Joe Biden’s plans for American gun owners, particularly the millions of new gun owners across the country who have purchased a gun in recent months out of concern over unrest and increasing violent crime.
The first missed opportunity for Donald Trump came early on, when Biden was asked about whether or not he would support nuking the filibuster in the Senate in order to pack the Supreme Court with justices. Biden refused to answer, but Trump was unable to tie in Biden’s deflection on the issue to the impact that a Biden/Harris Supreme Court would have on the Second Amendment, though he did bring it up in a tweet on Wednesday morning.
Biden wants to Pack the Supreme Court, thereby ruining it. Also, he wants no fracking, killing our Energy business, and JOBS. Second Amendment is DEAD if Biden gets in! Is that what you want from a leader? He will destroy our Country! VOTE NOW USA.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2020
Trump also could have gone after Biden’s gun control plans when the issue of violent protests were brought up by Wallace. After talking about about restoring law and order to American cities, the president could easily have pivoted to the fact that millions of Americans are purchasing firearms for self-defense these days. Even in places like New York City, applications for gun licenses are soaring, and Joe Biden would turn many of these people into criminals overnight if they failed to either hand their so-called assault weapons and high capacity magazines over to the government or paid a hefty tax for the privilege of maintaining possession of the guns they already own.
Trump did flummox Biden by asking him to name a single law enforcement organization that is supporting his campaign, but he could have gone farther by asking Biden what he plans to do with the millions of Americans who aren’t likely to comply with his gun ban demands.
There are still two more presidential debates on the schedule, and next week Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris will square off in their own debate, which will offer more opportunities for the Republicans to hit the Democratic ticket on the issue. Pence can and should press Harris about her support for a federal ban on “high capacity” magazines, which is virtually identical to the California law recently declared unconstitutional by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Pence can also demand that Harris explain how she’ll reimagine policing while at the same time criminalizing the exercise of our Second Amendment rights.