Speaking on Wednesday on CNN, US President Biden once again seemed to make the serious political mistake of saying the quiet part out loud.
When asked how he would address gun violence from a federal point of view, so as to bring about ‘change’ and make cities safer, Biden gave an answer that showed the Democrats want to do more than just get rid of what they define as an assault weapon. He harped on about the sizes of magazines and fire rates, but also mentioned 9mm pistols as a type he’d like to remove from sale.
Biden said, “I’m the only guy that ever … passed legislation when I was a senator to make sure we eliminated assault weapons. The idea you need a weapon that can have the ability to fire 20, 30, 40, 50, 120 shots … whether it’s a 9mm pistol or whether it’s a rifle, is ridiculous. I’m continuing to push to eliminate the sale of those things, but I’m not likely to get that done in the near term.”
Now, the discussion from an anti-gun-control perspective has been done to death. It essentially boils down to the idea that the government should not get to decide what is ‘enough’ for you – because that’s your decision. On top of that, the Second Amendment enshrines the ability to keep and bear arms.
But the really strange thing about Biden hinting he wants to ban one of the most common types of pistols on the market is just how unpopular that idea would be with Americans.
As of now, the Washington think tank the Pew Research Center reports, more than four in 10 adults say there is a gun in their household, with more than three in 10 reporting that they personally own a gun, according to a Gallup poll. Despite the common perception the left would have you believe, these are not all gun-toting Southerners who vote only Republican. Just under 20% of polled Democrats are gun owners themselves. Although there is obviously a party-line difference – half of Republicans say they own a gun – that’s still a substantial percentage of Democrats who could be alienated by Biden’s thinking. Especially when you take into account that three-quarters of Americans who currently own a gun say they can’t see themselves ever not owning one.
So, whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, there’s a good chance that, if you’re a gun owner, you understand the use of that weapon and why it’s important to be able to own it. And, although Americans are divided on levels of gun control, ultimately, there’s not really much of a push for a complete handgun ban beyond the camp of the more extreme campaigners.
Biden, who was elected because he’s supposedly a moderate, is taking an incredibly radical position here that isn’t going to be popular with a sizable chunk of the American population. And if you consider the possibility that Republicans could take back both the House and Senate in the next midterms, talk of pistol bans is a recipe for disaster for the Democrats.
Ultimately, although it’s a stereotype that we Americans love our guns, it goes beyond simply having a material possession. The ability to purchase firearms – especially a wide variety of customization and ammunition options – gives us a choice of ways to determine exactly how we want to defend our own property.
What Biden is suggesting would limit that down to bolt-action rifles, revolvers, and shotguns. Although I don’t dislike any of these options per se, as a voter, it’s important for me to be able to go to the ballot box and vote for someone who’s going to preserve my rights.
People all across America are going to absorb what Biden said on CNN and realize that this is not the man who wants to protect our rights. Instead, they’re just going to vote for the other guy because of how extreme Biden’s position is. If you thought that the president was a lame duck now, this latest misstep could make him an even lamer duck after 2022.
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