In the farrago of pipe-dream promises and blame-placing that was President Joe Biden’s Tuesday State of the Union speech, you may have missed the part where he sneakily seemed to back a ban on roughly 40 percent of handgun sales in the United States.
He didn’t come right out and say
it, although he has on past occasions. Instead, it came during yet another call for a ban on so-called “assault weapons” — and a rather curious redefinition of what an “assault weapon” is.
For those who weren’t watching — and please be aware, I really
envy you — one of the faces in the crowd that every president invariably invites to the State of the Union to use as an object lesson was Brandon Tsay
, a 26-year-old California man.
Leaving aside the relative wisdom of inviting a man with the name “Brandon
” to a Biden State of the Union, there’s no question that Tsay is a hero: He stopped a mass shooter in Monterrey Park, California in January. Whether or not Tsay knew what he was going to be used for — or the import of it — that fact remains.
“Two weeks ago, during Lunar New Year celebrations, he heard the studio’s front door close and saw a man pointing a gun at him,” Biden said in his speech.
“He thought he was going to die, but then he thought about the people inside.”
Pay close attention, because here’s where Biden’s words
get problematic: “In that instant, he found the courage to act and wrestled the semi-automatic pistol away from a gunman who had already killed 11 people at another dance studio,” Biden said.
“He saved lives. It’s time we do the same as well,” Biden continued. “Ban assault weapons once and for all.
“We did it before. I led the fight to ban them in 1994,” he added. “In the 10 years the ban was law, mass shootings went down. After Republicans let it expire, mass shootings tripled.”
As viewers of the speech might recall, that provoked quite the stink-face from GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert
of Colorado. And here’s why: If Biden’s rhetoric is accurate and he believes a ban on selling the type of gun used in the Monterey Park shooting would have prevented it, he plans to go far beyond the 1994 ban on “assault weapons.”
Just so we’re clear — while the word “semi-automatic” sounds very frightening, it describes weapons that are hardly unusual. They are estimated to account for four out of 10 handgun sales in the U.S.
That’s Mike Davis, former chief counsel for nominations on the Senate Judiciary Committee and prominent member of several conservative organizations, including the Article III Project and the Internet Accountability Project. In 2013,
It’s unclear what particular set of government statistics Davis pointing to — and we’ll get to why in a moment — but a 1994
phone survey taken via the Department of Justice found that 40 percent of handgun owners described their firearms as semi-automatic. In 2013, the National Rifle Association
estimated that 50 percent of all guns purchased in the prior year were semi-automatic, with 5 million sold.
“In simplest terms, ‘semiautomatic’ refers to the way the gun operates. It’s a reference to the mechanical process that plays out within the gun once a round is fired,” according to gun retailer Ammunition Depot
“In short, it’s what the gun does after you pull the trigger. Another way of describing it would be to say that it is self-loading. In a semiautomatic firearm, whether pistol or rifle, the operation of the gun is such that it ejects the empty shell casing of the round you just fired and replaces it with an unfired one. That’s it.”
And, as Ammunition Depot notes, having a semi-automatic weapon “doesn’t even help you shoot faster. Speed in shooting is actually more dependent on how fast you can accurately aim and pull the trigger than the operation of the gun.”
So, why is the number of semi-automatic guns an estimate?
“The main reason is that there just isn’t any data collected that specifies what exactly is sold,” Ammunition Depot noted. “The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives obviously does keep track of various aspects of firearms manufacturing, but they don’t precisely track based on the type of operation.”
However, based on its statistics, that number could be as high as 85 percent of new handguns manufactured, according to Ammunition Depot. And now, if we’re to believe Joe Biden
, he may want these classified as so-called “assault weapons” simply because they self-load the next round.
It’s not the first time Biden has used this language, either. Here’s Biden last November: “The idea we still allow semi-automatic weapons to be purchased is sick. It’s just sick. It has no, no social redeeming value. Zero. None. Not a single, solitary rationale for it except profit for the gun manufacturers.”
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre attempted to walk this back, as you might expect:
However, a return to this language on Tuesday indicated that Biden seems fixated on the evils of semi-automatic guns and conflates them with “assault weapons.” And, at this point, it can’t be because Uncle Joe strayed into some rhetorical territory his handlers have told him to avoid.
In addition to the fallout from the November remarks, this appeared in the prepared transcript
of Biden’s address released by the White House. This wasn’t him tripping over his words
: The president’s speechwriters intended
for him to say this.
Now, as was the case in November, there seems to be a vague silence around the White House as to whether Biden intends to push for such a ban. It’s almost entirely unlikely to get through either the House or Senate, mind you, and even if it did, there’s a high likelihood it gets struck down with great force by the courts as a violation of the Second Amendment.
The very fact the president was willing to float this yet again
, however, proves one thing: He and the Democrats want your guns, America. He’s not just talking about those pernicious “assault weapons” anymore — or, at the very least, he’s looking to vastly expand what he considers covered between those quotation marks.
If this doesn’t wake law-abiding gun owners up, nothing will.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal
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