Biden’s inner Trudeau: On guns, he seems to be operating under the wrong

In our increasingly hateful and divisive politics, there are times when our nation seems incapable of coming together for a common purpose. Tragedies — moments of shared national grieving and mutual support — once were the exception. Yet one of the most chilling aspects of the aftermath of the school massacre in Uvalde, Texas, was how the moment of unity was quickly lost to political posturing.

Politicians have long admitted that a crisis is an opportunity not to be missed — the greater the tragedy, the greater the opportunity. After the mass shooting at a Buffalo supermarket, New York’s Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) called for censorship to “silence the voices of hatred and racism.” After the Uvalde massacre, some Democrats renewed calls for everything from court packing to ending the Senate filibuster

The most immediate response, however, was a call for gun bans. Vice President Kamala Harris got out front of the White House by demanding a ban on AR-15s, the most popular weapon in America. Then President Joe Biden created a stir by suggesting he might seek to ban 9mm weapons.

Such calls are not limited to the United States. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that his government is introducing legislation to “implement a national freeze on handgun ownership.” He said Canadians would no longer be able “to buy, sell, transfer or import handguns anywhere in Canada,” adding that “there is no reason anyone in Canada should need guns in their everyday lives.”

The difference between the push in the two countries is the existence of the Second Amendment in the United States — a constitutionally mandated “reason” why Americans are allowed to have guns; they don’t have to prove it to the government.

While the White House subsequently tried to walk back his comments, Biden saying there’s “no rational basis” to own 9mms and AR-15s sounds like he’s channeling his inner Canadian.

There is now a strong majority for gun control reforms. However, politicians are once again ignoring what is constitutionally possible by focusing on what is politically popular with their voting base. 

In the past, politicians in cities like New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C., have proven to be the gun lobby’s greatest asset. They have pushed ill-considered legislation and litigation that only served to create precedent against gun control. The same pattern seems to be playing out as leaders like Biden and Harris voice sweeping, unsupportable statements about guns and constitutional protections. For example, despite being repeatedly corrected, President Biden continues to repeat the same false statements about bans on weapons when the Second Amendment was ratified. 

Those false statements can be dismissed as just another “Corn Pop” story, but they refer to the constitutional foundation for gun control. This concern is magnified by other recent claims that would quickly collapse in court. For example, in support of the ban on AR-15s, Harris declared: “Do you know what an assault weapon is? It was designed for a specific purpose, to kill a lot of human beings quickly….

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