Biden calls for new gun control in State of the Union

Jabin Botsford, Pool via AP

President Joe Biden has been pushing for gun control ever since he took office last year. He ran on gun control during the primary and he’s made it a clear priority since he was inaugurated.

As our nation is gripped by violent crime, the president took center stage during the State of the Union.

It’s not really surprising that he called for gun control.

President Joe Biden renewed his call for the banning of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in his State of the Union address.

“I ask Congress to pass proven measures to reduce gun violence,” Biden said during his first official State of the Union Address on Tuesday night. “Pass universal background checks. Why should anyone on a terrorist list be able to purchase a weapon? Ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.”

“You think the deer are wearing a kevlar vest?” Biden said, going off the pre-released transcript of the speech.

Oh har har har.

However, as anyone familiar with firearms, ballistics, and the protective qualities of body armor, pretty much every round actually used for deer will penetrate some degree of body armor. Pure kevlar vest are only rated up to Level IIIA protection by the NIJ. That’s for 9mm traveling up to 1400 feet per second and .44 magnum rounds.

Those are handgun rounds, after all. Common deer rounds like 30-06 are going to need at least Level IV.

But that’s just one of Biden’s inane quips, one the base will love but doesn’t actually mean much in the grand scheme of things other than illustrating how little the president knows about guns.

What about the substance of his push?

Background checks

First, so-called universal background checks. The idea that these will actually reduce crime is laughable. After all, the bad guys have access to black market firearms.

Additionally, it’s not enforceable simply because no one knows who has what guns now. Did I sell my revolver before the universal background check law went into effect, or after? Prove one way or another.

It’s virtually impossible to do so.

Plus, Biden fails to make mention of the piles of paperwork the ATF is in the process of digitizing, thus creating something of a gun registry. That’s illegal. The only reason it would survive legal challenge is that not all paperwork is centrally located and not all firearms sales have to go through the process that would create a paper trail.

Universal background checks would create just such an occasion, thus breaking federal law.

Ban assault weapons

It’s thoroughly unsurprising that President Biden would call for an assault weapon ban. That’s been the Democrats rallying cry on guns pretty much since the day the old ban sunset.

They always seem to find a way to fail to mention that the old ban accomplished absolutely nothing so there’s no reason to resurrect it.

Why do they keep insisting?

Because even as they celebrate the men and women in Ukraine taking up select-fire weapons in defense of their nation, they simply don’t trust you or me with a firearm that’s functionally no different than a semi-automatic hunting rifle.

In fact, look at pretty much every proposed assault weapon ban in the last 30 or so years. They’ve all focused not on functionality but cosmetic details. They ban certain guns because of external features that don’t actually impact the lethality of a firearm.

And don’t expect Biden’s to be any different.

Yet even if it is, then nicely done, Mr. President. You’ll have finally united the Tacti-cool kids and the Fudds. After all, “We’re not coming for your hunting rifle” doesn’t play when you’re actually going after someone’s hunting rifle, a lot of which are semi-automatic.

Banning high-capacity magazines

For some reason, Democrats like Biden feel like they should restrict how many rounds you can put in your firearm. Honestly, it makes no sense considering that you can reload quickly enough that any disadvantage criminals have would be minimal.

And yet, Biden is pushing for this again.

It should be noted that the Parkland killer used 10-round magazines to commit one of the most horrific mass murders in recent history.

Reducing magazine size isn’t likely to have nearly the impact on criminal acts Biden thinks.

But good, decent folks who may find themselves attacked by multiple assailants sure as hell will be. They need as many rounds as possible–we’ve seen it more than once–only they’d be limited under the president’s proposal.

Banning gun sales to “terrorists”

Here, Biden finally hits on something that few people take issue with.

Even better news, it’s already law.

No, really, it is.

Anyone who has been convicted of terrorism is guilty of a felony. As a convicted felon, they can’t lawfully purchase a firearm. Problem solved, right?

Well, kind of.

See, what Biden is talking about here is banning people on the terrorist watch list or the no-fly list from being able to purchase a firearm. However, what gets left out of this is that there’s little or no oversight on that list and once a name has been added, it’s virtually impossible to get your name off of it.

As a result, law-abiding citizens may be prevented from exercising their Second Amendment rights simply because they share a name with a terrorist.

Further, we live in a world where people have been called terrorists for standing up for their rights. Without any due process, those names could well be added to the list and honest Americans be stripped of their right to keep and bear arms.

Hard pass.

Repeal PLCAA

It seems that President Biden isn’t a fan of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, or PLCAA.

Biden added a call to “repeal the liability shield that makes gun manufacturers the only industry in America that can’t be sued.”

There are all kinds of problems with this one. For one thing, gun manufacturers can be sued. If they make a faulty product, they most certainly can be sued for doing so.

What they’re protected from is being sued because a third-party did something awful with their product.

And yes, they’re the only industry with this protection. Then again, they’re the only industry that’s ever needed this kind of protection.

After all, no one is suing Chevy for drunk drivers.

In fact, this one was such a whopper that even CNN had to call Biden on it.

Addressing gun control, President Biden repeated his claim that “gun manufacturers (are) the only industry in America that can’t be sued.”

CNN has previously fact checked this claim. Here’s what we found:

Facts First: This is false. Gun manufacturers are not entirely exempt from being sued, nor are they the only industry with some liability protections.

Under the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, gun manufacturers cannot be held liable for the use of their products in crimes. However, gun manufacturers can still be held liable for (and thus sued for) a range of things, including negligence, breach of contract regarding the purchase of a gun or certain damages from defects in the design of a gun.

Other industries also have some exemptions from liability. For example, vaccine manufacturers cannot be held liable in a civil suit for damages from a vaccine-related injury or death. And for the next four years, pharmaceutical companies developing the Covid-19 vaccines will have immunity from liability under the 2005 Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act. Those who claim to have been harmed by vaccines may receive money from the government, not the pharmaceutical company, via the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

When even CNN won’t cover for the president, you know it’s bad.

All in all, there was nothing overly surprising from Biden. It’s mostly a wish list of stuff we’ve seen in the past. It’s an attempt to appease a base that’s antsy he hasn’t done more on gun control, especially in light of the fact that people are less and less supportive of such measures.

He has to know he won’t actually see any of this pass, and with the midterm coming up and Republicans widely expected to gain a significant number of seats, his opportunity to push gun control will have passed.

Bullet dodged.