Joe Biden has made it a point not to talk too much about gun control in the general election. While it was a key point in the Democratic primary, the landscape has changed significantly since then. Not only is gun control more of a progressive issue than one that’ll win over Middle America, but there’s also the fact that millions of people–including many liberals–have started buying guns. They’ve seen how much BS has been peddled about guns.
Biden has been quiet, but he hasn’t quite tried to memory hole his anti-gun credentials.
Over the weekend, the former vice president opened up on Twitter about his anti-gun agenda.
It’s long past time we take action to end the scourge of gun violence in America.
As president, I’ll ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, implement universal background checks, and enact other common-sense reforms to end our gun violence epidemic.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) November 1, 2020
Of course, so-called assault weapons represent a fraction of the total number of crimes carried out with firearms. While they are often used in high-profile shootings, they don’t even account for even half of those firearms used in mass shootings. When broken down by the numbers, just 25 percent of mass shootings are carried out by people with semi-automatic rifles–and that includes semi-autos that aren’t actually “assault weapons”–while 45 percent use semi-auto handguns.
So, even if Biden could make assault weapons disappear completely from the country, it wouldn’t make mass shootings go away. It wouldn’t make any crime go away, really, since the lion’s share of gun-related crimes involve handguns.
Now, let’s talk “high-capacity magazines.”
First, there are tens of thousands of these magazines floating around in the United States right now. Biden’s plan would require people to register each of their magazines as an NFA item. That’s a $200 tax stamp for each magazine (and, of course, your “assault rifle. Let’s not forget that). The problem? Magazines aren’t serialized. There’s absolutely no way to determine whose magazine is whose, which magazines are registered and which aren’t, and so on. At least in past eras, they had enough sense to simply grandfather in past magazines and trust attrition to deal with the older ones, but not Biden.
Honestly, that proposal sounds like something that will play well with people who don’t know anything but isn’t remotely feasible. In other words, it’s a campaign promise that Biden simply can’t deliver.
As for universal background checks, talk about an idea that sounds great on paper but is unworkable.
Oh, sure, a number of states have done them to some degree, but there are serious problems with some of these laws. For one, it makes things virtually impossible for something like giving a gun as a gift or passing it down to a family member. In some states, the statutes are so strict that even loaning a firearm to someone requires a background check.
In fact, one university had to shut down the armory they kept for students to store personal firearms because the way the state’s universal background check law was written, each handing over of the gun constituted a transfer.
And Biden wants to pass this kind of thing nationally?
Nevermind that the vast majority of criminals use firearms obtained through illegal means. Most come from the black market. Still others are purchased through straw buyers. While a handful of criminals may get them from law-abiding citizens selling their personal firearms directly to someone else, they represent a tiny fraction of the total guns in criminal hands.
Just how is a universal background check going to stop that, anyway. Straw buyers are still a thing, after all. They’re illegal, but the average guy selling a gun isn’t going to recognize that.
Yet even if it did stop all of those gun sales from happening, it wouldn’t make a lick of difference. Black market guns would still be a thing and that’s all the criminals would need.
Then again, Biden calls these “common-sense reforms” like that term actually means something. The phrase is usually thrown around by people who think these things make perfect sense because to them, it does. However, they only count as “common sense” if you’re so ignorant of the reality that you can’t see how the only people who will be burdened are the law-abiding citizens and not the criminals that represent the problem.
But it’s Joe Biden. What do you expect?