Biden can't get facts straight about guns

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

President Joe Biden has never been someone you want to get gun advice from. After all, this is the guy who recommended you just blast your shotgun through the door without identifying your target first, much less whether that target is a threat or not.

It’s terrible advice.

But Biden just doesn’t know anything about guns. That’s not a sin, mind you. Plenty of people don’t and they don’t really have an interest in it, much like how many of you wouldn’t want to sit through me discussing differences in various daggers of the 14th Century.

It becomes a sin when you start talking about them like an expert, and as Reason’s J.D. Tucille notes, Biden botches that royally.

Government lies aren’t new; political fibs have such deep roots in history that you could open a museum of official mendacity and have enough rotating exhibits to keep things fresh. But now, amidst much hysteria over “misinformation,” we see a resident of the White House misrepresent facts in pursuit of restrictions on legal ownership of firearms and ignore corrections. President Biden’s claim that bullets fired from AR-15’s are impossibly speedy is only the latest example of his continuing lies about guns.

“There’s no justification for a weapon of war. None. The speed of that bullet is five times that that comes out of the muzzle of most weapons. It can penetrate your vests,” President Biden huffed last week. “What in God’s name do you need an assault weapon for?” he added.

This wasn’t the first time the president insisted on the supposed superpowers of so-called “assault weapons” and especially of AR-15s, which are popular among gun owners.

“Do you realize the bullet out of an AR-15 travels five times as rapidly as a bullet shot out of any other gun, five times—is lighter—and can pierce Kevlar?” he insisted on August 30 while touting his administration’s “Safer America Plan,” which includes tighter firearms restrictions.

Really? Well, no.

“President Biden’s statement that a bullet shot from an AR-15 travels 5x faster than a bullet shot out of ‘any other gun’ is false,” Greg Wallace, a Campbell University law professor who focuses on Second Amendment issues, told The Washington Post early in September. As for bullets fired from AR-15s piercing Kevlar, “that is true of almost all centerfire rifle bullets. Body armor protection against rifle bullets require steel, ceramic, or composite plates.”


Body armor comes in multiple levels based on what rounds it can protect against. A level IIA vest, for example, is useful against 9mm and .40 but will be crap against your garden variety deer rifle as well as some higher powered handguns, like .357, for example. A level IV vest, by contrast, is good up to .30-05 rounds.

To say a round can defeat body armor shows a profound lack of understanding of both guns and armor.

And, of course, there’s the claim that it’s five times faster than anything else, which is absolute nonsense.

I mean, first, are we talking about .556 or .223? It makes a bit of a difference, doesn’t it? Even then, while both are fast-moving rounds, they’re not appreciably faster than a number of other rounds and are actually slower than many.

The question then becomes whether this is pure ignorance or whether it’s marketing.

Remember, Biden is trying to sell the public on the idea of banning AR-15s. He wants the American people to be terrified of these weapons. How is that going to happen if he’s honest about them and notes they’re not necessarily any more powerful than their neighbor’s hunting rifle and are functionally no different than any other semi-auto on the planet?

He’s not.

So while this could be ignorance talking, it could be an intentional fabrication.

No, I won’t acknowledge this just being a misunderstanding where he or his people misunderstood a comparison between the AR-15’s rounds and other guns commonly used in mass shootings, like a 9mm. I dismiss this because the math doesn’t work out. Neither .556 nor .223 travel at five times the speed of your standard 9mm round.

So that leads to either of the other two possibilities.

Frankly, I don’t think it matters.

What matters is that Biden is spreading false information. What’s more, the outlets that continue to scream about misinformation and such are doing nothing to combat it. We’re not seeing fact-checks of Biden’s comments on social media, for example.

This is the same Joe Biden that tried to create a “disinformation” board as part of the Department of Homeland Security.

If Biden wants to combat disinformation, his own knowledge of guns would be a good place to start.