Harsanyi takes issue with Biden's latest anti-gun remarks

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

President Joe Biden has once again opined on the Second Amendment. Cam wrote about it on Wednesday, and I recommend you read that one.

However, that speech has more than enough stupid for one person to address.


David Harsanyi wrote a really good book on the history of the Second Amendment, so I’m not surprised to see him take issue with Biden’s comments regarding a history he’s woefully unprepared to understand.

The day his son Hunter avoided punishment for breaking a slew of firearm laws, Joe Biden gave another speech on gun control.

Well, not exactly another one. The president delivered the same ludicrous speech he’s been giving for at least a decade. And it contained one of my favorite arguments:

And so, we have to change — there’s a lot of things we can change, because the American people by and large agree you don’t need a weapon of war. I’m a Second Amendment guy. I taught it for four years, six years in law school. And guess what? It doesn’t say that you can own any weapon you want. It says there are certain weapons that you just can’t own. Even during when it was passed, you couldn’t own a cannon. You can’t own a machine gun. (Laughter.) No, I’m serious.

So what’s the deal with the idea that it’s an absolute — you know, I love these guys who say the Second Amendment is — you know, the tree of liberty is water with the blood of patriots. Well, if want to do that, you want to work against the government, you need an F-16. You need something else than just an AR-15. Anyway.

Virtually every word of this garbled nonsense is untrue.

Anyway, I feel relatively well-informed on the gun debate, and I have literally never heard anyone say, “The tree of liberty is watered with the blood of patriots.” I’m not saying that a cosplay militant hasn’t uttered those words at some point. And I’m not saying Biden didn’t read about it in 1975 or 1992 or 2002. What I’m saying is that it’s a strawman and smear meant to insinuate that most gun owners are looking for violence.


I’ve heard people utter the full phrase, but none reveled in the idea. It was more resignation, that this is something that we may have to face in our lifetimes. None were thrilled at the prospect.

Moving on…

Moreover, contending, as the president does, that your weapon is basically useless because the state can simply scramble F-16s and murder you and everyone you love doesn’t really convey the message he thinks it does. What it tells me is that Biden might be a sociopath and we all need tanks.

I mean, I’m rather OK with that suggestion. I’d say that we also would need things like Stinger missiles as well, because of F-16s.

Further, I’m also in agreement that it doesn’t send the message Biden thinks it does. This idea that we can’t oppose a tyrannical government because we lack airpower is rather insane. We don’t need to shoot F-16s. While close air support is awesome for troops on the ground, it’s not exactly necessary to match airpower for airpower.

None of this is even to mention that modern armies struggle to contain insurgencies equipped with little more than small arms. There have been countless such fights, including against Americans in places like Afghanistan. I guess we should be happy Biden didn’t threaten to nuke Kansas.


Biden labors under the impression that the Second Amendment expressly carves out exceptions, such as his oft-repeated and oft-debunked claim that you couldn’t own cannons back in those days. This time, he says you couldn’t own machine guns then, either.


On that, he’s right, but not because the Second Amendment precluded them, but because they simply didn’t exist.

The purpose of the Second Amendment is to act as an insurance policy for all other rights. Any president who seeks to usurp those rights and appoint himself king has to contend with an armed population that may not take too kindly to such an act.

As Harsanyi points out and as Biden repeatedly ignores, you don’t need F-16s to do that. We spend more than two decades and thousands of American lives to replace the Taliban with the Taliban, an entity that had no combat aircraft.

Honestly, Biden’s latest comments may well be his worst yet, which is saying something.

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