The Biden White House recently issued an opening barrage of executive actions in its attempts to quickly roll out what would be the most radical gun control program in modern American history. The new rules are part of a broader Democrat assault on the ability of law-abiding citizens, including women and minorities, who are two of the fastest-growing groups of first-time gun owners, to defend themselves against skyrocketing crime in Democrat-run cities. One of the most striking aspects of the Biden administration’s gun control measures is how closely they parallel the ones that British tyrants imposed on America over two centuries ago.
As reported yesterday, this week marks the 246th anniversary of the battles of Lexington and Concord and “the shot heard round the world.” The American Revolution began when the minutemen at Lexington refused to surrender their firearms to the Redcoats. According to an account from the Salem Gazette in 1775, the Captain of the British forces issued an order to the American militia to “throw down your Arms and disperse, upon which the [American] troops huzzaed.” British attempts to control the firearms of the colonists were a major reason America declared Independence to begin with. In fact, tyrannical gun control measures by the Redcoats were cited as a justification for the Revolution by Thomas Jefferson in his “Declaration of Causes of Taking Up Arms” adopted by the Continental Congress in July of 1775. Now, the Biden administration is threatening to bring back a similar abuse of American rights by imposing gun control regulations that evoke the very tactics the British used to disarm American patriots.
In 1774, King George III banned the importation of firearms into the colonies. Biden has also vowed to use his “executive authority” to ban the importation of certain firearms, including the most popular rifle in America.
In 1775, after the colonists’ heroic stand at Concord Bridge, British General Thomas Gage ordered residents in the city of Boston to deposit their firearms at Faneuil Hall. Gage promised to return the weapons at a more “suitable time.” Call it the British version of a voluntary buyback. The people of Boston complied, giving up nearly 2,500 firearms. The British then confiscated the weapons and never returned them. Now, Biden has proposed a “voluntary” gun buyback program coupled with a complete ban on the production and possession of more than one out of every five firearms purchased in this country, firearms that are used by millions of Americans for hunting and self-defense.
In 1777, William Knox, the British Under-Secretary of State for the American colonies, argued that: “the Arms of all the People should be taken away, & every piece of Ordnance removed into the King’s Stores, nor should any foundry or manufactory of Arms, Gunpowder, or Warlike Stores, be evre suffered in America[.]” Biden has his own modern-day version of William Knox in David Chipman, whom Biden nominated to be the director of what Biden referred to multiple times as the “AFT” throughout his recent remarks on gun control. Biden meant to say the ATF – the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
While Biden blundered through the announcement, Chipman’s anti-Second Amendment views are unmistakable. Chipman has commented that the government should “arrest people before committing crimes rather than responding after the fact.” He has argued that “[t]he Second Amendment envisions firearms as being ‘well regulated’”–a total and intentional distortion of the meaning of that term in the Constitution. He has endorsed a “ban on the future production and sale to civilians” of the most popular rifle in America and even worked for an organization that has advocated for a complete ban on the possession of handguns, which was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in its landmark D.C. v. Heller verdict. At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Chipman advocated against keeping gun stores open, bizarrely asserting, “If we can imagine how horrible this crisis is… the people who hoarded the guns might decide six months from now – once they see no zombies around, but they’ve run out of tuna and beef jerky – that they need the money to buy food.”
Biden has also issued an all-out declaration of war on America’s gun manufacturers, calling them “the enemy” and making the false statement that: “The only industry in America — a billion-dollar industry — that can’t be sued — has exempt from being sued — are gun manufacturers.” But gun manufacturers can be sued for selling defective products just like car manufacturers or other businesses. Gun manufacturers just cannot be sued for somebody else’s crimes or accidents–just as a car manufacturer cannot be held legally responsible for a customer’s irresponsible or even criminal use of their vehicle. Biden wants to invent a new legal standard and apply it only to gun manufacturers and sellers in an obvious effort to put them out of business. In addition, Biden would let judges confiscate the firearms of citizens without due process, and his new gun control regulations could put as many as four million law-abiding Americans at risk of becoming felons simply because they own an arm brace for certain pistols.
The saddest part about Biden’s gun control agenda is how ineffective his new rules will actually be at preventing violence. For instance, Biden hopes to regulate what he calls “ghost guns,” which is a scary term for what are simply unfinished pieces of metal that make up the receiver of a gun. But there is little evidence that taking the time and money to turn unfinished receivers into weapons is actually a common practice among criminals, who can just as easily deface the serial number of a firearm that has already been put together. Nor would Biden’s proposed regulation likely achieve its intended result. As one writer for the leftist Slate magazine recently pointed out, discussing a particular type of ghost gun, “It’s hard to imagine stopping it, short of banning 3D printers or metal pipes,” because “[m]ost of the gun is 3D-printed, while the rest includes inconspicuous parts available at hardware stores.” The concern about “ghost guns” is thus one more smokescreen for a federal power grab.
The irony of Biden peddling what is easily the most anti-Second Amendment agenda of any modern American President is that Biden’s own son, Hunter, may have actually broken one of the new gun control rules that Joe is proposing. President Biden recently issued an order to develop model red flag legislation that would permit a firearm to be temporarily withheld from a person whom family members or friends have determined to be potentially dangerous to others. As law professor Jonathan Turley notes, “[t]hat could well be called the Hunter Biden Law,” since Hunter was discharged from the Navy after testing positive for cocaine use and has a history of depression and substance abuse that was known to his family. Yet, in 2018, as reported by POLITICO, Hunter Biden purchased a firearm in Delaware that was later thrown in the trash behind a grocery store near a local high school and ultimately went missing for days. Like many big-government policies, Biden’s gun control laws do not seem to apply to the Democrat politicians who push them. For instance, Democrat Senator Raphael Warnock, who has criticized safe carry protections for citizens, spends over $100,000 to employ his own private security guards. Democrat Minneapolis City Council members, who have pushed for strict gun control laws and attempted to disband the city’s police department, spend $4,500 per day on security guards for themselves. And former Democrat presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg, who spends millions of dollars pushing radical gun control laws on local communities, travels around the country with armed security guards for his own safety.
Democrat gun control hypocrisy underscores the legitimate purpose of the Second Amendment, which is self-defense and a means of protection for every citizen, not just for those elites who can afford private security details. According to the CDC, every year, there are as many as 2.5 million defensive gun uses, where firearms are used “to protect and defend one’s self, family, others, and/or property against crime or victimization.” As President of the Crime Prevention Research Center, John Lott, notes, “Poor people in the areas with the highest crime rates benefit the most from owning guns.” These are the law-abiding Americans that radical Democrat gun control laws will hurt.
But Biden has downplayed the importance of Americans owning firearms in recent gun control remarks, asserting that “From the very beginning that the Second Amendment existed, certain people weren’t allowed to have weapons.” This is true if Biden is referring to the “slave codes” passed by Southern states to restrict the gun ownership rights of freed slaves or the Black codes passed with the help of members of the KKK after the Civil War demanding, as Mississippi’s law did, that no freedman “shall keep or carry firearms of any kind, or any ammunition.” Presumably, Biden does not intend to associate his policies with racially motivated gun rights prohibitions from centuries past.
Today, minorities and women are purchasing guns to protect themselves and their families in historic numbers, with Black Americans buying firearms at a 58% higher rate in 2020 than in 2019 and women comprising 40% of 2020’s gun buyers. A record 8.4 million Americans chose to become first-time firearm owners last year in large part due to the surge in homicides and violent riots occurring in Democrat-run cities brought on by radical leftist efforts to defund the police.
Take Minneapolis, where the Democrat city council voted to redistribute $8 million in police funding at the end of 2020 and then experienced a 250% increase in gunshot victims in the first weeks of 2021. Or Portland, where Democrat officials voted to disband the city’s Gun Violence Reduction team and cut police funding by $15 million only to suffer over 200 shootings already in 2021 and 35 homicides compared to just three over the same time period the year before. Democrat-run Los Angeles also voted to cut funding for law enforcement by $150 million last year and now has seen shootings increase by 88% in the first two months of this year. Increased gun violence appears to be linked to cutting police funding in these areas, making the whole Democrat approach to public safety simply baffling. Why is the Biden White House attempting to restrict the ability of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves when police departments are being defunded across the country by Democrat politicians, when homicide rates are soaring, and radical mobs are bringing violent riots to the streets?
Now is the worst time for Democrats to attempt to wage war on the Second Amendment in a manner that even Biden himself indicated would be unconstitutional just a short time ago. Indeed, during the Democrat primary debates, Biden blasted Kamala Harris for saying she would take executive action to jam through gun control, saying: “Let’s be constitutional!… We’ve got a Constitution.” But, Biden, as President, appears to have forgotten about the Constitution and forgotten about the patriots who fought at Lexington and Concord so America could have a Constitution, choosing instead to impose gun control restrictions with the stroke of his pen and without the consent of Congress.
Biden is on the wrong side of history, right alongside the British tyrants who conjured up similar excuses to disarm American patriots nearly two hundred and fifty years ago. Today, Americans must resist this power grab using every tool at our disposal in Congress and the Courts.
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