The media approach to the Biden/Harris administration is already very different than what we saw over the past four years. Smears have been replaced with softball questions, and skepticism has turned an unquestioning support for the programs and policies offered by Democrats.
One of the latest examples of this media transformation can be found at Marie Clare, the women’s magazine largely devoted to fashion, beauty, and relationship advice. Despite not knowing much about the gun control issue, the editors of the magazine have devoted an entire editorial to the notion that Vice President Kamala Harris has the chance to “save millions of lives” by enacting major gun control legislation.
Harris has made her position on the gun control debate clear: During her presidential campaign last year, Harris declared that she would sign an executive order “mandating background checks for customers of any firearms dealer who sells more than five guns a year,” per the New York Times, if Congress didn’t take action within the first 100 days. She also stated that she would close the boyfriend loophole and ban assault weapons, and fugitives would not be allowed to purchase any handgun or weapon.
Since making those statements, she has remained consistent on her stance, and emphasized that it’s possible for citizens to keep their Second Amendment rights while also passing effective gun control legislation that could save millions of lives. (For the record, she’s a gun owner.)
A couple of things to point out here. First of all, who cares that Harris claims to be a gun owner? There are plenty of people who own books who are also in favor of censorship, and there are people who own guns who are okay with the idea of gun control. That doesn’t make them right.
It’s clear that the Marie Clare editors really don’t understand the issues here. Take “mandating background checks or customers of any firearms dealer who sells more than five guns a year”, for example. Any actual firearms dealer is already required to conduct a background check on any customer. What Harris and other gun control activists want to do is require anyone who might sell five guns from their personal collection over a 12-month period to register as a federal firearms licensee, even if they don’t make their living by selling firearms.
As for Harris’ gun control ideas saving “millions of lives,” I think we can chalk that up to hyperbole with a dash of ignorance thrown in to boot. Over the past two decades, the number of homicides (all homicides, by the way, not just firearm-involved murders) every year has fluctuated between between 15-17,000. If Kamala Harris and Joe Biden’s gun control plans were somehow effective enough to prevent every single murder in the United States, they still wouldn’t save millions of lives.
Violent crime rates, including homicides, have been trending down for more than two decades without any major gun control legislation being enacted. Well, at least they were before the coronavirus pandemic led officials to shut down courts, release inmates from jails and prisons early, and pull back on arrests for certain crimes last year. That pullback became even more noticeable after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis sparked violent riots across many U.S. cities, and 2020 saw the largest one-year spike in the nation’s homicide rate in at least 60 years.
You can read the Biden administration’s full plan for gun control measures here. It includes: banning the manufacture and sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines; requiring background checks for all gun sales; ending the online sale of firearms and ammunitions; and closing various loopholes that allow people to buy guns.
These measures aren’t designed to save lives. They’re designed to restrict the right to keep and bear arms. Biden’s gun ban goes far beyond prohibiting the manufacture and sale of modern sporting rifles (the most commonly sold center-fire rifle in the country, by the way). It bans the possession of these firearms, even if you legally purchased one years ago. Biden’s plan demands that you either turn your newly-prohibited guns and magazines over to the government in exchange for some yet-to-be-determined cash stipend, or you register your guns under the National Firearms Act, which typically requires paying a $200 tax to the government.
Universal background checks have no mechanism that would allow them to be proactively enforced against private transfers of firearms, while ending the online sale of firearms and ammunition would make it incredibly difficult for many Americans to acquire the arms that they have a right to possess. As it is, any firearm purchase made online has to legally go through an FFL and a background check, which is something else that the clueless editors of Marie Clare were likely unaware of.
We also shouldn’t ignore the fact that Kamala Harris may be the tie-breaking vote in the U.S. Senate, but unless Democrats nuke the legislative filibuster, it’s still going to take 60 votes to pass the gun ban plan that she and Joe Biden have embraced. Harris has no more power to pass gun control at the moment than Mike Pence had to pass national right-to-carry reciprocity when he was the vice-president.
So, you have ignorant editors opining to an audience that is likely just as unfamiliar with the intricacies of gun control legislation. While Second Amendment supporters see a big problem with that, gun control activists actually rely on this type of uninformed misinformation and media bias to advance their agenda and develop public support for their attempts to infringe on our constitutional rights.