WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a slurred, partisan, and agitated speech riddled with misrepresentations and factual errors, President Joe Biden called for stricter gun-control measures in an address to the nation in Cross Hall at the White House Thursday evening.
Reflecting on his recent visits to Buffalo and Uvalde, Biden claimed that families he met with demanded action from Washington regarding firearms.
At both places, we spent hours with hundreds of family members who were broken and whose lives will never be the same,” the President claimed. “And they had one message for all of us: Do something. Just do something. For God’s sake, do something. After Columbine, after Sandy Hook, after Charleston, after Orlando, after Las Vegas, after Parkland, nothing has been done. This time that can’t be true. This time, we must actually do something.”
Yet, in the case of Parkland, in reference to a school shooting that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day 2018 in Florida, the governor and state legislature did something. A UPI article published in October 2018 reported that then-Florida Governor Rick Scott signed $400 million in legislative reforms that included gun control, school safety, and mental health.
“The legislation bans the use of bump stocks — devices that allow the rapid firing of certain firearms — increases the minimum rifle purchasing age from 18 and 21, and institutes a three-day waiting period on all firearm purchase,” the article stated.
Biden attempted to emphasize that this was not about taking away guns from responsible gun owners but then reiterated his Memorial Day remarks to the press that the Second Amendment was not absolute.
This isn’t about taking away anyone’s rights,” the President said. “It’s about protecting children. It’s about protecting families. It’s about protecting whole communities. It’s about protecting our freedoms to go to school, to a grocery store, and to a church without being shot and killed.”
The President’s rhetoric was similar to that employed by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during his speech announcing legislation that would make it illegal to buy, sell, transfer or import handguns anywhere in Canada earlier this week.
Do 18 and 19-year-olds Count As Children?
Let’s break down some of Joe Biden’s points and see if they’re factually correct.
Citing a recently studied report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the President alleged that guns are the number one killer of children in America and stated that more children died from guns than “on-duty police officers and active-duty military members combined.”
However, CDC data identified children and adolescents as between 0 and 19 years old. A custom search on the CDC website for death resulting from firearms suffered from 0 to 17 puts the death total at 2,281 for 2020. Meanwhile, 2,503 deaths were sustained in motor vehicle accidents by children ages 0 to 17 in 2020.
Adding 18 and 19-year-olds into the figures shows that 4,368 died from gunfire while 4,036 died from motor vehicle deaths in 2020.
Are These Really Solutions?
Claiming that the overwhelming majority of the American people demand gun control legislation, Biden proposed a fresh round of gun control legislation.
We need to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines,” the President said. “And if we can’t ban assault weapons, then we should raise the age to purchase them from 18 to 21. Strengthen background checks. Enact safe storage laws and red-flag laws. Repeal the immunity that protects gun manufacturers from liability. Address the mental health crisis deepening the trauma of gun violence and as a consequence of that violence.”
The President called for a reinstatement of the federal ban on assault weapons in the 1994 Crime Bill, which he claimed led to a decline in mass shootings.
“But after Republicans let the law expire in 2004 and those weapons were allowed to be sold again, mass shootings tripled. Those are the facts,” the President claimed.
As we have reported to you before, a federally funded study released by the National Institute for Justice in 2004, just before the ban’s expiration, did not credit the prohibition of assault weapons as the reason for the decline.
As to Biden’s claim that mass shootings tripled after the law was allowed to expire, the Washington Post, in a May 27th article, pointed out that “there were 31 mass shootings in the decade before the 1994 law, 31 in the 10 years the law was in force (Sept. 13, 1994 to Sept. 12, 2004) and 47 in the 10 years after it expired.”
The President also demanded an expansion of background checks to “keep guns out of the hands of felons, fugitives, and those under restraining orders.” Yet as the Washington Post noted, most mass shooters legally purchased their firearms, including Dylann Roof, who killed nine people inside a historic black church in Charleston in 2015, and Salvador Ramos, the Ulvade, TX shooter.
“(Ramos) had never been convicted of a felony or had a history of criminal violence, so there was no prohibition against him buying the weapons,” the Post reported.
Biden further called for raising the age of assault weapons purchase to 21-years-old and an expansion of ‘red flag’ laws, even though they did not work in the case of Buffalo shooter Payton Gendron.
He urged voters to make gun control the central issue when they cast their vote in upcoming elections.
My fellow Americans, enough,” Biden said. Enough. “It’s time for each of us to do our part. It’s time to act. For the children we’ve lost, for the children, we can save, for the nation we love, let’s hear the call and the cry. Let’s meet the moment. Let us finally do something.”
Biden’s Change In Rhetoric Since 1985
Biden’s rhetoric on Thursday evening was different than during his time in the Senate. According to Page 18229 of the Congressional Record from July 9, 1985, Biden voiced his support for the Firearm Owners Protection Act and expressed his belief that additional gun control would not reduce crime.
During my 12-and-a-half years as a Member of this body, I have never believed that additional gun control or Federal registration of guns would reduce crime,” Biden said. “I am convinced that a criminal who wants a firearm can get one through illegal, non-traceable, unregistered sources, with or without gun control. In my opinion, a national register or ban of handguns would be impossible to carry out and may not result in reductions in crime.”
This is despite recent criticisms of law enforcement handling the Uvalde mass shooting, including a Florida sheriff who alleged that too many school districts and law enforcement agencies are not equipped to handle a school shooting situation.
Furthermore, this week‘s poll released by the Trafalgar Group revealed that 57.5 percent of respondents believe that school policies prohibiting properly trained teachers and school staff from carrying firearms make classrooms more dangerous.
We couldn’t agree more that gun control should be a central issue in the next election. We just think that Joe Biden’s solutions have a track record of failure! Instead, gun owners should show up at the polls to send a loud message to legislators that gun control is not the answer — and that legislators who try to pass it will pay for it at election time!
Another thing we’d like to point out is that in a normal world, we would express outrage that the President — who campaigned as the man who would bring unity to the country — would take an opportunity to do just that and instead turn it into an anti-American political rallying cry.
But just as many Americans are desensitized to violence, we are desensitized to the classlessness of Biden and his Democratic Party. We expect them to be all politics and all-in on their hatred of the Second Amendment as much as we expect the sun to rise tomorrow.
As you can see, in his moral hand-wringing over guns, the actual truth means nothing.
Yet with his political chastisement of Republicans, calling their opposition to the latest slew of gun-control bills “unconscionable,” Biden may have grounded Democratic momentum on the latest gun control bills to a halt,
While most observers believe that the House bill will eventually die in the Senate, delicate talks are underway between leftist Democrats and RINO’s about gun-control legislation. Negotiations could be out the window should any of them grow a spine out of Biden’s rhetorical wounding of their pride.
Nevertheless, gun owners cannot count on Biden’s screw-ups to bring this current assault on the Second Amendment to an end. Contact your legislators by using this form provided to us by the American Firearms Association below.