News-Miner opinion: The Biden administration continues to be fascinated with the notion of “common sense gun law reforms,” but to date has not offered a legislative package to Congress.
Thank goodness, but it is coming.
President Joe Biden, long a gun control advocate, pledged during his election campaign to ban AR-15 style rifles — America’s favorite, with millions of them in gun racks, gun safes and closets across the nation. Additionally, he supports mandatory firearms buy-backs and wants to ban “high-capacity” magazines, pass universal background check legislation and end the firearms industry’s immunity from frivolous lawsuits, effectively putting them out of business. He also thinks we should have a new gun czar to oversee firearms policy.
Biden certainly is not alone in his zeal. The vice president, Kamala Harris, even suggests doing it all via executive orders if Congress will not play ball.
Some of the ideas almost sound reasonable — until you look at them. Take, for instance, the notion of expanded, universal background checks. It sounds great but would have absolutely no effect on gun violence, but that is not its real aim.
The idea behind background checks is to curb private buying and selling of firearms, channeling those transactions, instead, through licensed dealers so buyers would be subject to the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System. But what about the millions of firearms already in circulation?
Gun control advocates will say, “Golly, this is not working. What we need for background checks to work is registration of all firearms.” As has been proven repeatedly around the world, registration is the first step toward mandatory buybacks or outright confiscation, something several Democrats were promising with great gusto during the election campaign.
Banning AR-15 style rifles? While there likely are some 20 million of them in the United States, they are used in only a tiny fraction of crimes committed in this country. Banning “high capacity” magazines? Ridiculous. Even a five-round magazine can be switched out in a second.
Do any of Biden’s “reforms” even give a passing nod to common sense? Hardly, but his administration, the Wall Street Journal reports, is reaching out to gun control advocates for support. How any such legislation would fare in the tightly divided Congress is unknown, but it would face fierce opposition, and not just from Republicans.
What is overlooked by Biden et al., is that 74 million Americans did not vote for him and he has no mandate to gut the Second Amendment, something he appears bent on doing. Many do not support his efforts.
Four in 10 Americans say they or someone in their household owns a gun, and 22 percent — or about 72 million people — admit owning a gun, surveys by Pew, Harvard and Northeastern show. There are far more than 300 million firearms in the United States, with more being purchased every year. Last year’s sales set a record, with nearly 40 million background checks through the FBI.
The National Rifle Association, the perennial bogeyman of anti-gun forces, boasts about 5 million members, despite its recent troubles.
What all this says is that Americans like their guns and are uninterested in surrendering them, their magazines or their rights to the federal government. What they do support, and have supported, is enforcement of the thousands upon thousands of gun control laws already on the books.
Make no mistake, this administration is determined. It perhaps is the most unabashedly anti-gun in America’s history and presents a serious and determined threat to Americans’ Second Amendment rights — and their very freedom.