Former Vice President Joe Biden has a long history in politics. Through most of that time, he’s been pretty anti-gun. In fact, one of his legislative “accomplishments” has been the passage of the 1994 Assault Weapon Ban. He’s pretty proud of that.
As president, he says he’ll resurrect the ban. That would be the same ban that has been shown to have had zero impact on crime, for the record.
That ban is a problem for most of us in the gun rights community. Further, I’m of the opinion that following the Heller decision, it wouldn’t even be constitutional. Yet he’s still going to push for it.
When gun rights people claim that Biden is going to take our guns, though, fact-checkers love step in and claim he’s said no such thing.
Sure…but there’s a problem. See, there’s no reason to believe he’d stop at assault weapons, even if we didn’t care about those guns. He doesn’t see the Second Amendment as an individual right.
During a September 2019 “townhall” hosted by New Hampshire ABC affiliate WMUR, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden made clear that he does not believe the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms and that the U.S. Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia v. Heller was incorrect.
During the event, Biden was asked, “Do you agree with the D.C. v. Heller decision in regards to protecting the individual right to bear arms that are in common use and which are utilized for lawful purposes?”
Biden responded in part, “If I were on the court I wouldn’t have made the same ruling. OK, that’s number one.”
And I taught for years Constitutional law and separation of powers, I taught the Second Amendment. And the Second Amendment is not absolute. And we can argue, the fundamental argument is well regulated militia and all those things, I won’t get into that. I think that the fundamental argument is the reason that was given as a right because we needed to be able to muster people to deal with an enemy called Great Britain we were fighting in a war.
Aside from his denunciation of Heller and denial that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms, Biden also displayed a fundamental misunderstanding of the Bill of Rights. The Second Amendment was not “given as a right”by the U.S. Constitution. Rather, as the U.S. Supreme Court made clear in Heller, the Second Amendment protects a right that pre-existed the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.
In other words, he doesn’t believe that you, as an individual, has a right to keep and bear arms. That tells us he thinks the Second Amendment prevents the government from barring states from having guns. He doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with completely disarming you or me.
Now, with that view firmly in mind, I’d love for someone to tell me how anyone could trust Biden to just stop at assault weapons? Don’t get me wrong, his position on any gun control firmly rules him unfit for public office, but the fact that he rejects the idea that the Second Amendment protects an individual right is especially problematic.
If the right to keep and bear arms isn’t an individual one, then what’s to stop him from next coming after bolt-action rifles that he’d likely deem “sniper rifles” or something similar? What about him coming after handguns? After all, handguns are the weapon of choice for most criminals. If you think gun control will stop criminals, you’re going to have to come to the conclusion that handguns are a problem sooner or later.
The truth of the matter is that the moment Biden would take office, all of our Second Amendment rights are up for grabs. He won’t stop at assault weapons.
That’s just his starting position.