Biden Repeats Gun Ban Demand, Targets NRA in State of the Union

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Joe Biden might not have said anything new about his gun control agenda in his State of the Union address tonight, but he did remind those on both sides of the fight over the Second Amendment that he stands squarely opposed to the right to keep and bear arms. 


Biden didn't offer any folksy advice about using a double-barreled shotgun for self-defense instead of an AR-15, and he managed to avoid repeating his oft-told quip about deer not wearing Kevlar vests. Instead, he tried to tie his call for a ban on so-called assault weapons to the drop in homicides seen in most U.S. cities last year; a decline which he credited largely to the passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act in 2022 and the influx of federal grant money from the American Rescue Plan approved by Congress a year earlier. Never mind that the reduction wasn't seen in every city, or that our nation's capitol actually saw its largest spike in homicides in decades. Homicides went down overall, and according to Biden its all because of his amazing leadership, federal giveaways, and of course, gun control. 

Amazingly, when Biden touted his "accomplishments" on guns, he never brought up his ATF crafting new regulations cracking down on homebuilt firearms, pistol stabilizing braces, or private sales of firearms. Instead, he brought up his Office of Gun Violence Prevention, which is more of a jobs program for the gun control lobby than anything else. 

Biden also sought to contrast himself with Donald Trump, quoting Trump's recent appearance at the NRA's Great American Outdoors Show, where he told the crowd that he "did nothing" in the way of gun control, as well as Trump's remarks in Iowa the day after the shooting at Perry High School. According to Biden's retelling, Trump told Iowans to "just get over it," which isn't really what the former president actually said.


“To the entire community, we love you, we pray for you, and we ask God to heal and comfort, really, the whole state,” Trump said at the get-out-the-vote rally in Sioux Center.

“We’re really with you as much as anybody can be. It’s a very terrible thing that happened. It's just terrible,” the leading GOP presidential candidate said. “That’s just horrible. It’s so surprising to see it here." 

"But we have to get over it. We have to move forward," the Republican frontrunner said. “To all the relatives, and all the people who are devastated right now, to the point they can't breathe, they can’t live, we are with you all the way.”

I'll admit that wasn't the most artful way of expressing sympathy, but it was hardly the casual dismissal that Biden suggested. 

On the campaign trail in 2020 Biden declared the firearms industry to be his enemy, but on Thursday night it was the NRA who he declared must be beaten before trotting out his golden oldies "Ban That Gun and Magazine" and "The Universal Background Check Boogie", which he proclaimed wouldn't violate the Second Amendment or vilify gun owners. We'll hopefully soon see what the Supreme Court has to say about bans on commonly owned semi-automatic rifles, but we already know that tens of millions of Americans firmly believe that telling them they can no longer possess the guns they lawfully purchased would indeed be a flagrant violation of a fundamental right. As for vilifying gun owners, Democrats do that on a daily basis, though sometimes they change it up and treat us as if we're moronic pawns of the "gun lobby" instead of free-thinking individuals who value our civil rights. 


Earlier in his speech, Biden bashed "trickle down" economics, but every one of his gun control demands operates under a trickle-down theory; pass laws that choke off the ability to lawfully purchase and possess firearms, and eventually the impact will trickle down to violent criminals by reducing the number of guns for them to obtain illegally. Of course it doesn't really work that way in the real world. Even in the most gun-controlled cities like New York, teenage migrants can easily get ahold of a gun on the black market, 8-year-olds can bring a gun to elementary school, and shootouts can happen on subway platforms. 

One of Biden's primary themes of the evening was that freedom and democracy are facing existential threats from overseas and within our borders, but he and his fellow Democrats cannot own up to the fact that their heartfelt desire to ban the sale and possession of tens of millions of commonly owned firearms and obliterate our right to keep and bear arms is one of the major pressure points that threatens to rip the social contract apart. 

At one point Biden invoked the civil rights era by noting it's the 59th anniversary of the march in Selma, Alabama, but it's now the Massive Resistance to the Bruen decision that we're seeing from Democrats in states like California, New York, and New Jersey, with governors like Gavin Newsom acting in outright defiance of the Supreme Court's decisions in Heller, McDonald, and Bruen just as Alabama's George Wallace did in the 1960s. If Biden was truly interested in standing up for fundamental rights, or if he believed it was actually possible to have a gun control law that did infringe our right to keep and bear arms he would have called out those attacks on the Second Amendment just as he slammed Republicans for attacking "reproductive rights", but Biden's version of the Second Amendment is so toothless that it protects nothing, except perhaps the right to carry a musket in a militia. 


Gun control wasn't a primary theme of Biden's State of the Union address. In fact, I'm not sure Biden had a theme given how quickly he ping-ponged from one topic to the next. Gun control activists will be cheered that he once again brought up a gun ban and the jobs program for the gun control lobby now operating out of the White House, but we all know that this Congress isn't going to pass an "assault weapons" ban this year. Heck, I don't even think it would get 50 votes in the Senate right now, much less the 60 votes needed to overcome a cloture vote, and I know the votes aren't there in the House. 

But Biden wasn't just talking about the present tonight. He was laying out his aspirational vision of the future, and that includes criminalizing the possession of some of the most commonly owned arms in the country, weaponizing the ATF to craft rules that go around the legislative branch, and treating the Second Amendment as if it was never written in the first place. Even if gun control didn't take up much of his State of the Union address, and he didn't say anything new of note, he reminded us of the damage that will be done to our right to keep and bear arms if he's in the White House for another four years. 

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