Joe Biden kept pointing his right hand straight at the audience with his index finger extended and his thumb straight up. A few school administrators, citing no-tolerance policies, have suspended elementary school kids for making just this type of gesture while playing cops-and-robbers type games. But no one called out Biden on this politically incorrect point during a presidential primary debate in June 2019, even though as he made this “gun” gesture, he said, “Our enemy is the gun manufacturers. …”
Instead of asking Biden not to threateningly point his finger, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow gave him an opportunity to tell America what he thinks of our Second Amendment rights.
“Okay,” said Biden. “I’m the only person that has beaten the NRA nationally. I’m the guy that got the Brady Bill passed, the background checks, number one. Number two, we increased that background check when—during the Obama-Biden administration. I’m also the only guy that got assault weapons banned, banned and the number of clips in a gun banned. And so, folks, look, and I would buy back those weapons. We already started talking about that. We tried to get it done. I think it can be done. And it should be demanded that we do it. And that’s a good expenditure of money. And, lastly, we should have smart guns. No gun should be able to be sold unless your biometric measure could pull that trigger. It’s within our right to do that. We can do that. Our enemy is the gun manufacturers, not the NRA, the gun manufacturers.”
In Proverbs, the Bible warns: “Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will also be like him.” The good book instead advises us to “Answer a fool as his folly deserves, that he not be wise in his own eyes.”
With this advice in mind, it would clearly be madness to attempt to answer this odd, ignorant, often unconstitutional and, quite possibly, cognitively impaired attempt to think and communicate according to its folly.
Even Biden likely doesn’t know what he meant by saying he got “the number of clips in a gun banned.” And he likely also doesn’t know what he meant by saying only a person’s “biometric measure” should “pull that trigger.” We can, however, safely guess what he meant by calling gun manufacturers the “enemy,” and we’ll dig into that in a moment.
Now, though it is a fool’s errand to follow Biden’s illogic, we must step back and prepare to fight the ideas, such as they are, that his team will try to make American citizens live with. As this was going to press, here is what we knew about his growing administration and what they will likely try to do.
Kamala Harris is a vice president who previously said that, if she were to ascend to the presidency, she would give Congress 100 days to enact a series of anti-Second Amendment policies.
“The problem is Congress has not had the courage to act, which is why, when elected president of the United States, I will give the United States Congress 100 days to pull their act together, bring all these good ideas together and put a bill on my desk for signature,” said Harris during the same debate in which Biden rambled through his incoherent list of anti-Second Amendment policies. “And if they do not, I will take executive action and I will put in place the most-comprehensive background check policy we’ve had. I will require the ATF to take the licenses of gun dealers who violate the law. And I will ban by executive order the importation of assault weapons. …”
Also, among Harris’ proposals was her intention to repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA)—an idea Biden and many of the other Democrats who ran for the presidency support. Biden’s campaign website claims that the PLCAA “protects [gun] manufacturers from being held civilly liable for their products—a protection granted to no other industry. Biden will prioritize repealing this protection.” This is a blatant lie. Anyone who reads the PLCAA can see for themselves the law explicitly does not do this. Gun makers and dealers can still be sued and held legally accountable if they make a faulty product or if they break an existing law.
What Biden wants to do is to allow people to sue gun makers and dealers if some criminal uses one of their legally made and sold products in an illegal way—this would be like holding GM (to pick a brand at random) civilly liable after some monster intentionally drove a Cadillac into a crowd of people. Forcing manufacturers to pay for an illegal misuse of their products is nothing short of a strategy to drive manufacturers and dealers out of business.
This is why Biden called America’s firearms manufacturers the “enemy.” It is easier to take on a small industry that makes and supplies a product that is very much in demand than it is to directly take on the more than 100 million American citizens who choose to own guns.
As this was being written, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra was Biden’s pick to lead the Department of Health and Human Services. Becerra has spent the past several years defending California’s onerous gun-control laws in court, and when he was in Congress, he advocated for more gun-control laws on the national level.
Becerra was quoted in a 2019 court filing arguing that AR-type rifles are “not in common use for lawful purposes like self-defense.” He claimed this despite the fact that about 20 million of these semi-automatic rifles are owned by American citizens. Though Becerra is a strange choice to head the Department of Health and Human Services-as he is a former congressman, not a doctor-when it comes to guns, it is clear why Biden likes Becerra.
“Assault rifles may be banned because they are, like the M-16, ‘weapons that are most useful in military service,’” Becerra wrote in Rupp v. Becerra, a case that challenged California’s prohibition of semi-automatic rifles that look a certain way.
To back up his claim, Becerra also cited an opinion from the gun-control group the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence that says “assault weapons” possess “no legitimate civilian purpose.”
Dr. Vivek Murthy
As this was being written, Dr. Vivek Murthy was Biden’s pick for U.S. surgeon general. Murthy made the case during the Obama administration that criminal use of guns should be dealt with as if it were a public-health issue. This is an idea Biden likes, as it would allow him to label all sorts of gun-control laws public-health actions. Indeed, gun-control groups adore this line of reasoning, as it enlists healthcare workers, as well as government-related healthcare expenditures, to work against gun ownership.
“Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Dr. Vivek Murthy are both proven gun sense champions who will help lead the Biden administration’s effort to treat gun violence like the public health emergency it is,” said Everytown for Gun Safety President John Feinblatt in a press release.
In 2012, Murthy, who served in former President Barack Obama’s administration, tweeted: “Tired of politicians playing politics w/ guns, putting lives at risk b/c they’re scared of NRA. Guns are a health care issue. #debatehealth.”
Jen O’Malley Dillon
It should not be a surprise that Jen O’Malley Dillon, Joe Biden’s campaign manager—who, at press time, looked likely to be his deputy chief of staff—is in step with every gun-control proposal Biden is. Her history of anti-gun stances actually goes far beyond her work for the Biden campaign.
Before becoming Biden’s campaign manager last March, O’Malley Dillon was in the same position for Biden’s purported gun-control czar-to-be, Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke. Yes, she ran the campaign for the guy who said, “Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15.”
Weeks after this now-infamous boast, O’Malley Dillon appeared in a video for the O’Rourke campaign in which she propped up Beto’s “mandatory buyback” (confiscation) plan for what she and O’Rourke deliberately mislabel as “assault weapons.”
“We are actually the only campaign with a plan … that supports mandatory buybacks of weapons of war. An assault weapon ban is very, very important, and we need to have it, but that only takes weapons of war off the streets in the future. It does nothing for weapons of war that are currently out there,” said O’Malley Dillon in the video.
Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor and failed Democrat presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg had been selected to head the Biden administration’s Department of Transportation. “We need a nationwide licensing and registration system, but that’s not nearly enough,” Buttigieg said in a tweet regarding firearms. “We must implement universal background checks, ban military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and hold the gun industry accountable.”
Buttigieg echoed these statements in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper in August of 2019. “Let’s start by banning new sales of these [AR-style] weapons, then we can figure out other mechanisms to reduce the number that are circulating out there,” he told Tapper.
Jen Psaki is to be the White House press secretary. Psaki was formerly in the Obama administration and has since been a political commentator for CNN.
In 2018, Psaki wrote an opinion article for CNN titled “Trump is the NRA’s Apprentice,” in which she said, “The opponents of arming teachers with guns are none other than teachers, school administrators and law enforcement. Why? Because America’s problem with gun violence is not going to be addressed by pushing through an NRA-backed call for more guns in schools.”
She later said, “And as for raising the age at which it is legal to buy a gun, that is a reasonable proposal and one that most people may support. But would it get to the heart of the problem—widespread availability of guns in America? No.”
Psaki is an anti-Second Amendment ideologue who can’t even bring herself to understand the millions of Americans who choose to exercise their right to defend themselves and their families.
Instead of laying the blame for violent crime on those who are truly responsible—the violent criminals; Psaki, despite a world full of examples of what happens to disarmed peoples, thinks the problem is the “widespread availability of guns in America.”
Former Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D-Mich.) is Biden’s nominee to be energy secretary. Granholm called for sweeping changes to the nation’s gun laws in 2012. “It’s time for a call to action, everybody, people,” said Granholm. “I’m just sick of this garbage, too. You should be as well. We cannot stand idly by. We can sit and complain about what those darn politicians are doing, or say words, or we can do something.” Granholm then called for a federal “assault weapons” ban and a prohibition on “high-capacity” magazines.
Granholm also said that Americans should not have access to so-called “armor-piercing ammunition” in a 2013 interview on ABC. “Why do you need armor-piercing bullets; why do you need that?” Granholm asked former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Penn.).
Santorum said, “Because we’re talking about a particular type of bullet that is and can be available—”
“Deer don’t wear armor. Why do you need an armor-piercing bullet?” Granholm asked.
Of course, Granholm would likely consider all centerfire rifle ammunition “armor-piercing.” As most readers of this magazine will know, nearly all rifle ammunition is capable of penetrating some types of body armor. If all such ammunition were to be banned, what would be left? Who knows?
At press time, Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) had been touted as Biden’s likely nominee to be secretary of the Department of Interior, the department that runs the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and that administers about one-fifth of the land in the U.S.—places where many gun owners go to shoot.
On her campaign website, Haaland outlined her views on our rights this way: “We must take on the NRA! Congress needs to stop wasting lives and take action on gun violence—now. We must keep guns out of the hands of people who should never have a gun. We need 100% background checks and to close loopholes—especially with gun shows. We need to rid our communities of military-grade weapons; neither hunting nor policing require automatic weapons. We need major funding for behavioral health programs that are accessible to everyone. We need to strip the power of the NRA with commitments from elected officials to NOT ACCEPT campaign contributions. We need to foster a society in which violence is never the answer. No one should live in fear of attending a concert, dancing at a nightclub, or going to school.”
Of course, she doesn’t say that her policies would disarm good men and women, not the criminals and sociopaths. She blames you for violence, not those who are actually responsible.
What qualifies Susan Rice, a foreign-policy official most-known for lying about President Barack Obama’s failed response to save a U.S. ambassador in Benghazi, Libya, to run the domestic policy council? Simple: She is another safe ideologue who’ll enact Biden’s policies.
Rice appeared in a June 2020 interview with representatives from the gun-control group Everytown For Gun Safety, and its subsidiary Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, to discuss gun-control laws and other issues. “[Biden has] taken on the NRA twice and won,” Rice said in the interview with Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “When he served with President Obama in the Obama-Biden administration, we implemented over two dozen reforms that put curbs on access to guns, but we need legislation, we need leadership in Joe Biden that understands and is passionate about these issues.”
Rice also said, “It’s unthinkable to me that even though the vast majority of Americans favor common-sense gun restrictions, universal background checks, bans on assault weapons; we have a very powerful lobby that has effectively prevented so much of that from being enacted,” she said. “It’s absolutely outrageous. It makes me as angry as anything.”
This is Only a Taste of the Biden Team
As this was going to print, other names being floated by Biden, such as Merrick Garland (see p. 16 for more on him), Miguel Cardona, Neera Tanden, Antony Blinken and Tom Vilsack, also come with anti-Second Amendment credentials. Biden had also brought in Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) to be a senior advisor. In August of 2019, Richmond said this about America’s most-popular rifle: “If it is a buyback, then I’m all for it. If it’s a mandatory buyback, I think then you may run into some complications, but the thought of it does not offend me, and it sounds like something I could support.”
While on the campaign trail, at a rally in Texas, Biden also said this about Beto O’Rourke: “I want to make something clear. I’m gonna guarantee you, this is not the last you’re seeing of [O’Rourke]. You’re gonna take care of the gun problem with me; you’re gonna be the one who leads this effort. I’m counting on you; I’m counting on you; we need you badly.”
So, clearly, as this was being written, a lot more of this anti-Second Amendment team was still yet to be announced. We’ll keep you informed.