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Joe Biden is Wrong: Banning Assault Weapons Does Not Work!

Joe Biden made another one of his infamous gaffs in an op-ed for the Washington Times titled “Banning Assault Weapons Works” when he wrote, “That’s why, as president, I will push to ban them again.”

The error here was both a tactical and factual one. His factual error is that the former senator and vice president was wrong when he first pushed for banning “assault” weapons in 1994 and is wrong now.

National Review’s headline said it best in its response to Biden’s claim, “Joe Biden Is Wrong. There Is No Compelling Evidence That Assault-Weapon Bans Work.”

Presidential candidate Biden wrote in the Times article, “Many police departments have reported an increase in criminals using assault weapons since 2004. And multiple analyses of the data around mass shootings provide evidence that, from 1994 to 2004, the years when assault weapons and high-capacity magazines were banned, there were fewer mass shootings — fewer deaths, fewer families needlessly destroyed.”

The current push to ban AR15s and other so-called “assault weapons” is based on several unintentional and blatantly dishonest assertions.

When then-Senator Biden handed former President Bill Clinton an assault weapons ban in 1994, here is what that bill accomplished:

  • New sales of semi-automatic guns that had certain combinations of “tactical” cosmetic features, including pistol grips and folding stocks were banned.
  • The sale of “high-capacity” magazines (over ten rounds) were banned.
  • When the ban expired in 2004, the verdict of the great majority of experts was the bill had little effect on overall homicides.

The glaring problem with the law Biden voted for 25 years ago and promises to reestablish if elected President is the law targeted mass shootings and those make up the tiniest fraction of overall homicides.

By definition “assault weapon” features have no effect on a gun’s lethality. A small percentage of murders are committed using long guns of any kind even less with “assault weapons” in particular.

Limiting magazines to 10 rounds is even less effective. Smaller magazines require a shooter to reload more frequently but it takes under two seconds to eject one magazine and pop in a replacement. YouTube is filled with amateur shooters pulling off that feat with ease.

Robert VerBruggen of National Review reports the push to ban these weapons depends on studies that ignore three important facts:

Mass shootings have “historically been incredibly rare”. Entire years have passed during study periods without one such incident.

High-profile incidents like those in El Paso and Dayton are contagious inspiring copycats and competitors.

Mass shootings are “incredibly variable in the number of fatalities, from a low bound of wherever the researcher … sets it … all the way up to 58 at Las Vegas.”

The tactical error Biden makes here may be less obvious to him but very obvious to knowledgeable supporters of Second Amendment rights.

During an interview in CNN, Biden told Anderson Cooper, “The second amendment doesn’t say you can’t restrict the kinds of weapons people own. You can’t buy a bazooka or a flamethrower.”

When asked if a “Biden administration means they will come for my guns” he quickly responded, “Bingo. You’re right if you have an assault weapon.”

Biden was quick to cover that assertion by telling Cooper he had no intention to confiscate previously owned assault weapons though he would support a national buyback program to get “assault” weapons off the streets.

He further clarified by saying, “That’s not walking into their home, walking through their door and going through the gun cabinets, etc. Right now, there is no legal way to deny them the right if they legally purchased them, but we can in fact make a major effort to get them off the street and out of the possession of people.”

We agree with Biden that is “unacceptable that children learn to fear mass shooters alongside their ABCs.” It is also unacceptable to make disingenuous assertions that Democrats have no intention of confiscating weapons.

The tactical error is to think, conservatives don’t see the endgame is to remove guns from law-abiding citizens.

Kimberley A. Strassel writing of the Wall Street Journal observed, “Democrats insist there’s no more urgent job than ensuring Donald Trump is a one-term president. Which is odd, given how hard they are simultaneously working to alienate the voters they most need to make that happen.”

Half-way gun control proposals never achieve their objectives and Joe Biden knows that. His tactical error is thinking gun-owning America doesn’t see his real objective.


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