By: Teresa Mull
People have recently been reminded that Joe Biden is running for president, as news circulates of his pick for vice president. Biden has chosen as his running mate Kamala Harris, a strident anti-gun advocate.
Biden himself, is, when he’s coherent, vocal about his desire to disarm Americans. GPM has reported that Sloppy Joe has said he would ban so-called “assault weapons” and implement a national buyback program. Biden has also said not everyone is “entitled” to own a gun, and issued an 11-page gun control manifesto calling for universal background checks for all weapons sales (with the exception of sales between close relatives), red flag laws, banning “high capacity” magazines, and removing legal protections for gun manufacturers.
Harris, we remind readers, has made many headlines for her “evolving” stance on guns. From the archives:
Kamala Harris, another 2020 Democratic presidential contender, has been an outspoken supporter of gun control, having said she, too, supports a ban on “assault weapons” and favors universal background checks.
But here’s a sticky wicket.
Harris just admitted she, herself, is a gun owner.
Harris told reporters:
"I’m a gun owner. I own a gun for probably the same reason a lot of people do, for personal safety. I'm a former prosecutor.
“In terms of gun policy though, I think that for too long, and still today, we are being offered a false choice, which suggests you’re either in favor of the Second Amendment or you want to take everyone’s guns away. It's a false choice.
"I believe it's a false choice born out of a lack of courage from leaders who must recognize and agree that there are some practical solutions to what is a clear problem in our country. And part of the practical solution is to agree that we need smart gun safety laws, which include universal background checks, which include the renewal of the Assault Weapons Ban. Period."
Kamala Harris is trying to one-up her fellow Democratic presidential contenders by announcing she would invoke executive action to ban the import of AR-15s.
Harris wants to ban AR-15-style assault weapon imports and suspend all other assault weapon imports until the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives can analyze whether they should be permanently banned under U.S. law. Her campaign argues the weapons could be banned because they aren't "suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes." This includes all 44 AR-type models listed in the latest assault weapons ban that was introduced in Congress.
“When we look at the issue of assault weapons, let’s be very clear: Assault weapons are designed to kill a lot of people in a very short period time,” Harris said. “…We cannot any longer afford to allow people to make this a partisan issue. Those guns, those assault weapons, do not discriminate and determine, OK, is the person pointing it at a Democrat or a Republican. This can no longer be a partisan issue.”
Harris’ proposal is an expansion of other extreme positions she’s taken regarding the Second Amendment. Harris said during a town hall meeting in April:
“Upon being elected I will give the United States Congress 100 days to get their act together and have the courage to pass reasonable gun safety laws. And if they fail to do it, then I will take executive action. And specifically what I will do is put in place a requirement that for anyone who sells more than five guns a year, they are required to do background checks when they sell those guns. I will require that for any gun dealer that breaks the law the ATF take their license.”
Teresa Mull (email@example.com) is editor of Gunpowder Magazine.