Biden's latest call to ban "assault weapons" doesn't change a thing

Jacquelyn Martin, Pool

For once, Joe Biden didn’t have to depend on a hypothetical deer in body armor to try to make his case for a ban on modern sporting rifles. During his State of the Union address on Tuesday evening, Biden instead pointed to the House gallery, where 26-year old Brandon Tsay was seated, and rightfully praised the Californian for disarming the man trying to shoot up an Alhambra ballroom earlier this month after the man had already opened fire on Lunar New Year revelers at another ballroom in nearby Monterey Park.


Biden used Tsay’s heroism as a call to disarm, urging Congress to “finish the job” and pass a ban on so-called assault weapons.

During his State of the Union address, Mr. Biden recognized Brandon Tsay, the California man credited for preventing the gunman responsible for the mass shooting at a Lunar New year celebration earlier this year from carrying out further attacks. The president urged lawmakers to do their part to help save lives by passing new gun restrictions.

“Two weeks ago, during Lunar New Year celebrations, he heard the studio’s front door close and saw a man pointing a gun at him,” Mr. Biden said. “In that instant, he found the courage to act and wrestled the semi-automatic pistol away from a gunman who had already killed 11 people at another dance studio.”

“He saved lives,” he said. “It’s time we do the same as well. Ban assault weapons now.”

Mr. Biden said his push for tighter gun regulations will continue despite his signing into law last year the nation’s first new gun control bill in decades.

He can push all he wants, but with a divided Congress his calls to ban modern sporting rifles isn’t going anywhere… at least not on Capitol Hill. Gun control groups are urging Biden to use executive actions to target “assault weapons”, so it’s possible that the White House will try to impose an administrative ban of some sort over the next two years.


Beyond the hurdles in Washington, D.C. that Biden’s proposed ban faces, there’s also the fact that multiple polls over the past few months have shown declining support for the measure, including an ABC News/WaPo poll earlier this week that found majority opposition to the idea. According to that survey, 47% of respondents back a ban on the sale of “assault weapons”, while 51% disapproved of the idea.

Then there are the current legal challenges to some of the “assault weapons” bans already in place in states like New York, California, and Maryland. While the Supreme Court has yet to weigh in, lawsuits taking on those existing bans are slowly but surely making their way up to the Court, and the odds of those bans being upheld by the current lineup on the bench are slim given what the justices have previously said about what arms are protected by the Second Amendment.

I’m glad that Brandon Tsay received some national attention for his heroism on Tuesday night. It’s just a shame that Joe Biden co-opted Tsay’s bravery for yet another impotent demand to curtail the fundamental right to keep and bear arms. If gun control worked as well as Biden and other prohibitionists claim it does, Tsay never would have needed to take down the shooter in the first place, but none of the dozens of restrictions already in place in California prevented the suspect from acquiring a firearm or carrying out his attack. In this case, it was a good guy without a gun who put a stop to the violence, but Tsay’s actions are more evidence that gun control doesn’t stop criminals in the first place. It only makes it harder for the rest of us to protect ourselves.


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