Biden says you can't support cops unless you want to ban guns

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

As House Democrats scramble to find the final votes needed to pass their ban on so-called assault weapons, Joe Biden’s weighing in with an attempt to strong arm Republicans into backing the gun ban.

On Monday, Biden, speaking remotely to the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives in Florida, claimed that unless you support banning the most commonly-sold rifle in the country you can’t support law enforcement.

You hear a lot of politicians say about how much they love you, how much they care about you, they’ll do anything for you. In the state you’re in today, Gov. [Ron] DeSantis, Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Rick Scott all opposed banning assault weapons, and Sen. Scott and Rubio voted against the bipartisan gun safety law that I signed,” Biden said, calling out the Florida Republicans.

“To me, it’s simple. If you can’t support banning weapons of war on American streets, you’re not on the side of police,” he added.

We’re going to be hearing directly from one law enforcement officer later today on Bearing Arms Cam & Co, but you don’t have to wear a badge to know how insulting and off-base this is, or how desperate Democrats are to get momentum for their gun ban.

Let’s start with the fact that there are plenty of police officers who side with the GOP on this issue and aren’t in favor of sweeping gun bans. A 2013 poll of more than 15,000 officers, for instance, found that fully 91% of respondents said that a ban on so-called assault weapons would either have no impact on violent crime or would make things worse. Maybe those numbers have changed slightly in the nine years since they survey was conducted, but I haven’t seen any change of heart among police officers I know.

In fact, the popularity of banning “assault weapons” has been on the decline among the general public, with Quinnipiac recording its lowest level of support ever in a poll taken just a few months ago. Does Joe Biden really think that half the country hates cops because they don’t support criminalizing the sale, purchase, or transfer of some of the most commonly-sold firearms in the country?

I don’t think so. This isn’t about saving lives, but about saving Democratic seats.. or trying to any way. Biden and Democrats want to distract from the grim economic numbers and the likelihood that we’re going to fall into a recession, and demonizing those who don’t go along with their gun-banning ways is one of their key campaign strategies for the midterms.

Biden told the conference, “On the ballot this year will be whether or not this nation bans assault weapons.”

The House Judiciary Committee advanced a bill to ban assault weapons last week, which marked the first time in two decades a congressional panel has moved to prohibit the sale, transfer and possession of the popular firearms. The bill has little chance of advancing given GOP opposition in the evenly divided Senate.

Can it pass the House? After yesterday’s post noting all of the evidence that Rep. David Cicillini’s bill may have stalled, there’s unfortunately been some movement for HR 1808. The bill still has 212 co-sponsors as of this morning, which is four short of the votes needed for passage in the full House, but the Rules Commitee has placed both HR 1808 and HR 2814, which would repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, on Wednesday’s calendar. The Rules Committee is the last stop for the legislation before it hits the House floor, so this could be an indication that Pelosi has commitments from enough House members that she feels comfortable moving ahead with the bill.

Either way, HR 1808 is going nowhere in the Senate, but Democrats clearly want to make gun control one of their top issues in the midterms, despite the fact that most Americans are far more concerned about the unsteady state of the economy and their own personal experiences with Bidenflation. We’ll see if Democrats have the votes to pass their gun ban in the House before the end of the week, but I don’t expect their exercise in authoritarianism to have a big impact in November. If anything, it will likely end up goosing Republican enthusiasm at least as much as it excites Democrats, and in a red wave environment Biden’s gun ban isn’t going to be the boon to Democrats’ electoral fortunes that they’re hoping it will be.