Gun-control advocates, anti-gun politicians and their supporters in the mainstream press have never been known for honesty. Unburdened by integrity, there’s no data they won’t misconstrue, statistic they won’t massage or unpopular goal they won’t attempt to hide. With their renewed effort to enact radical gun-control policies in recent months, the anti-gun crowd’s reliance on dishonesty has reached new levels.
Chief among the gun-control effort’s deceitful tactics is careful messaging. Rhetoric about “common-sense” or “reasonable” gun “reform” is all designed to secure support for extreme gun-control measures the public has repeatedly rejected through their elected representatives.
Observers can be certain that this messaging is a ruse because, from time to time, gun-control advocates, such as President Joe Biden, will spill the beans on the true nature of their unpopular endeavor.
To be sure, Biden is a world-class “storyteller.” Just consider his oft-repeated claim that it was illegal for citizens to purchase cannons at the time the Bill of Rights was ratified. This whopper proved too much even for the “fact checker” at The Washington Post, who admonished the president by writing, “We have no idea where he conjured up this notion about a ban on cannon ownership in the early days of the Republic, but he needs to stop making this claim.” That rebuke was in June 2021. Most recently (as of press time), Biden repeated the cannon lie in May of this year.
But it doesn’t stop with an ahistorical view of cannon regulation in America. In one of his latest confused riffs, Biden admitted that he wants to prohibit 9 mm handguns. Speaking with a group of reporters on May 30, Biden recalled a purported encounter he had with a “trauma doctor,” stating:
“A 9 mm bullet blows the lung out of the body. So, the idea of these high-caliber weapons is, uh, there’s simply no rational basis for it in terms of self-protection, hunting. Remember, the Constitution, the Second Amendment was never absolute.”
Biden went on to say, “I can’t dictate this stuff. I can do the things that I’ve done. And any executive action I can take, I’ll continue to take. But I can’t outlaw a weapon.”
A reasonable person would infer that Biden’s position is that 9 mm, and presumably greater-caliber, firearms should be banned. Of course, support for banning America’s most-popular handgun is the type of dirty little secret that hurts the gun-control effort when it gets out, so the president’s allies sprang into action.
Left-wing Media Matters whined, “Right-wing media falsely claim Biden plans to ban 9 mm handguns.” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre sought to assure the public that Biden “does not support a ban on the sale of all handguns.”
The trouble for gun controllers is that this was the third time in four years that Biden let the cat out of the bag.
At a July 21, 2021, CNN “presidential town hall,” the president expressed his disdain for semi-automatic firearms “whether it’s a 9 mm pistol or whether it’s a rifle”—referring to these items as “assault weapons.” A November 2019 Seattle Times article reported on then-candidate Biden telling fundraiser attendees, “Why should we allow people to have military-style weapons including pistols with 9 mm bullets and can hold 10 or more rounds?” Biden has repeatedly called for a ban on so-called “assault weapons,” and even called for confiscating these firearms during an August 2019 CNN interview.
After each of these instances, the press stepped in to conceal Biden’s obvious position and re-establish the narrative.
Gun-control supporters also ceaselessly lie about the level of public support for their policies. Anti-gun activists and their press flunkies claim that 90% of Americans support the criminalization of private firearm transfers—something they term “universal background checks.” A 2021 document from Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety, mislabeled as a “fact sheet,” stated that a whopping 93% of “American voters” support this policy. The problem for these anti-gun radicals is that this purported support has never materialized in the only polling that matters—the kind done in an actual polling booth.
On June 3, The New York Times published a piece titled, “Voters Say They Want Gun Control. Their Votes Say Something Different.” The article pointed out what NRA-ILA has been stating for years—that when background checks have been put to the voters, the policy has wildly underperformed the opinion polling. Even in deep-blue states like Washington and California, background-check ballot measures have underperformed polling expectations by about 20-30%. The Times explained, “the results suggested that a national referendum on background checks would have lost.”
With gun-control advocates and their media lackeys willing to deceive in pursuit of political ends, it is incumbent on gun owners to stay informed and to help educate others. NRA is devoted to providing members the facts they need to combat our opponents’ campaign, which can be found at NRAILA.org.