Biden uses Raleigh shooting to call for "assault weapons" ban despite officials' silence on gun used in attack

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Police in Raleigh, North Carolina haven’t released any information yet about the gun that a 15-year old used to shoot and kill five people in a neighborhood Thursday night, though witnesses have reported that the teen was carrying a “long-barreled shotgun” during the attack.

Not wanting to wait for the facts or let them interfere with his preferred anti-gun narrative, Joe Biden brushed aside the lack of information about the gun that was used or how the 15-year old suspect obtained it in favor of once again calling on Congress on Friday to ban the most commonly sold rifle in the country.

“Enough. We’ve grieved and prayed with too many families who have had to bear the terrible burden of these mass shootings. Too many families have had spouses, parents, and children taken from them forever,” Biden said.

“For the lives we’ve lost and the lives we can save, I took historic action to stop gun violence in our nation, including signing the most significant gun safety law in nearly 30 years. But we must do more. We must pass an assault weapons ban,” Biden continued. “The American people support this commonsense action to get weapons of war off our streets. House Democrats have already passed it. The Senate should do the same. Send it to my desk and I’ll sign it.”

Ordinarily I’d assume that maybe Biden was briefed by law enforcement on some details that have yet to be released to the public, but given his tendency to spout off without a full command of the facts I don’t know that was the case. What I do know is that the problem here is the 15-year old in question, not what kind of gun he happened to use. Even if this kid had a six-shot revolver he could have murdered just as many people as he did with some type of long gun; something that Biden would never acknowledge given his grossly exploitative statement.

We know very few details about the suspect in question other than the fact that he’s a 15-year old who’s now in critical condition. Police haven’t even officially said whether he was shot by officers or whether he shot himself. There’s no known motive for the attack, at least not one that’s been even hinted at. And again, police haven’t said anything about what type of weapon was used, but as of the moment that Joe Biden used the deaths of these innocent victims to push for a gun ban, there had been no indication from police or eyewitnesses than an AR-15 or a modern sporting rifle was used as the murder weapon.

Biden couldn’t even wait a few hours until those details had been released to turn these murders into a political issue. He couldn’t even spare the time to make a statement that simply mourned these victims, releasing a separate diatribe about “assault weapons” later on in the news cycle. His brief mention of the victims dovetailed into a longer statement about the supposed need to criminalize the possession of tens of millions of lawfully owned rifles; rifles that are used in fewer homicides than hands, fists, or feet according to FBI data, by the way.

I don’t think Joe Biden knew what type of gun was used in these killings when he made his statement, but I don’t believe it matters to him one way or the other. We’re just a few weeks out from the midterms and Democrats and their allies in the gun control movement are desperate to convince Americans that opposition to ineffective and unconstitutional gun control laws makes you soft on crime, and that Democrats are the real party of getting tough on criminals. Unfortunately, the “criminals” they really want to crack down on are the tens of millions of Americans who do things like own AR-15s, lawfully carry a concealed firearm, and even build their own guns; actions that the gun control lobby like to turn into felony offenses at every given opportunity.

It’s a dumb narrative that doesn’t appear to be gaining traction among the voting public, but desperate times call for desperate measures, and with Biden desperate to stave off a GOP takeover of the House and/or Senate, he was willing to explicitly tie that pitch to the heinous murders of Nicole Connors, Mary Marshall, Susan Karnatz, James Roger Thompson, and Officer Gabriel Torres; using their deaths to push for a gun ban without waiting for the facts or even bothering to call them by name.