On the third anniversary of the tragic February 2018 school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, President Joe Biden issued his administration’s first significant push for new gun control measures.
Unfortunately, instead of seeking support for laws addressing the real underlying factors of gun violence, Biden is pushing politically divisive measures that would turn the right to keep and bear arms on its head without meaningfully making the nation any safer.
Biden’s message called on Congress to ban so-called “assault weapons” and “high-capacity magazines,” to mandate background checks on all gun sales, and to “eliminate immunity for gun manufacturers who knowingly put weapons of war on our streets.”
He further promised that his administration “will take action to end our epidemic of gun violence and make our schools and communities safer.”
Let’s unpack the many problems with those policy proposals and take a look at what sound policies might look like, instead.
1) Banning ‘Assault Weapons’ – There are obvious constitutional problems with banning the future sale or possession of the nation’s most popular semi-automatic rifles.
As the Supreme Court explained in D.C. v. Heller, McDonald v. City of Chicago, and Caetano v. Massachusetts, the Second Amendment protects all arms that are commonly used by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes.
Gun control advocates—and, apparently, the Biden administration—often try to get around that reality by framing certain semiautomatic rifles as “weapons of war.” [full article]