Policy Breakdown: Joe Biden on Guns

I have a pestering suspicion that most people don’t actually care about the policies their presidential candidate proposes. They fall in love with a face or a personality, and commit to voting for them, changing their principles to match. This is how we wind up with bad presidents. Sacrifice your values to service the higher power of victory. So, today I’m going to try something different. Seeing as we have less than 100 days until the election, I am going to break down a presidential policy every day to explain and expose exactly how those policies can affect the country. Since gun rights are a personal top issue, we’re going to start with former Vice President Joe Biden’s “Plan to End Our Gun Violence Epidemic”. For your reference, the information on the policy has been taken directly from Joe Biden’s website. 

The best way to start is a basic summary. Biden’s plan is excruciatingly long, and touches multiple different issues unrelated to firearms. The platform begins with a history of Joe Biden’s record on guns, and proceeds into explaining the plan, which has more than 15 steps. In all honesty, if I went through every single step, you would most likely stop reading; therefore, I’m going to pick out the most aggressive steps and break them down. 

Step one: “Hold Gun Manufacturers Accountable.” Biden plans on repealing The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which is the regulation stopping American’s from filing civil suits against gun companies. He would have you believe this allows the companies to sell faulty firearms and be protected from legal punishment, a privilege not extended to any other manufacturer in the nation. Truth is, that there are provisions in the law which allow for civil suits over defective firearms. The actual purpose of the law was to protect gun companies from being sued every time a crime is committed with one of their guns. The best metaphor for this plan is this: If I were to drive drunk and hit somebody, Nissan would be held liable because they sold me the car. As you can see, its very stupid. 

Step Two: “Get Weapons of War off the Streets”. First things first, what is a weapon of war? Seems like a very broad term that could be generally applied to anything. I could wage war with a .22 revolver. I probably wouldn’t be successful, but I could certainly do it. Now let’s get to the meat of the matter. This step has multiple parts. First is the ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines. I can delve into the reasons why someone might need something like that, but I don’t have to. This is unconstitutional. To pass this law Biden needs to amend the Constitution. You can’t restrict a human right without due process. Second, he will regulate the possession of “assault weapons”, which again is a very general term that could be applied to anything. Ignoring the obvious attempts to create a national gun registry, what exactly does this accomplish. Please someone explain to me how registering my firearms will stop a criminal from shooting someone. Sure, it’s a cliche argument, but I haven’t heard a reasonable counter yet. The next part works in conjunction with Part 2, the weapons buy back, which would increase government spending by billions of dollars and not make anyone safer. Finally, Part 4 makes it illegal to buy more than one gun a month. Again, I could explain why this is dumb, but I don’t have to. “Shall not be infringed” is pretty clear. I have a right to buy whatever guns in whatever quantities I want, as long as I don’t break the law.

Step 3: “Keep Guns Out of Dangerous Hands”. This part is pretty much an expansion of background checks. While some parts are fine, like the closing of the private sale loophole. Other increased measures throw up some red flags. For example, he wants to make it possible to restrict your right to purchase a gun, by allowing for a background check to take up to 10 days. In reality, a background check should never take more than an hour. All of the information needed is on an internet based system and takes a few clicks to access. Why is this necessary? We shouldn’t be restricting basic Constitutional rights because “sounds good”. 

Step 4: “End the Online Sale of Firearms and Ammunitions”. Give me a single reason why. Just one bit of supporting evidence for this. You still need to undergo background checks to buy a gun online, and you have to pick the gun up at a local gun store.It’s not like UPS delivers AR-15s directly to people’s door steps. Give me a break, you pandering jackasses. 

Step 6: “Incentivize State Extreme Risk Laws”. There are a lot of misconceptions about red-flag laws. Most people believe that they’re a way to stop crazy people from getting their hands on guns, but really it’s another broad term that can be generally applied to anyone. The term used by the Biden campaign is people who are “in crisis, or pose a danger to themselves or others”. In this scenario, the person’s family or law enforcement have the ability to make that decision. This sounds like a great idea. Allow families to make the call to temporarily restrict a person’s access to firearms, so they can’t go on a shooting spree. I can somewhat support this policy, but at a closer look, no provisions are suggested to protect abuse from the system. If I’m a perfectly fine and sane person, but see a therapist a few times a month, does that make me “in crisis”. Will the fear of losing my guns prevent me from seeking help for routine mental illness? Yes, absolutely. What if your family is abusive? We know these people often fall through the cracks of law enforcement. What if I’m an 18 year old high school senior who’s dad beats him close to death every day. You’ve just given him the ability to take away my self defence. What if I’m a woman with an abusive husband? You’ve just given him the ability to declare me “in crisis”. It may only be a few days, but a few days make the difference between life and death in these situations. 

I’ve only touched on the basics of this policy, and I encourage you to read it on your own time. I may come back and break down a few more points on this, but election season is busy and who knows what it will bring. Going forward, there are two very basic things to remember. First, the right to bear arms is a Constitutional right and is as protected as the right to Free Speech or anything else in the Bill of Rights. Second, gun legislation is purposefully manipulative. They like to make it sound good, when in reality, it would have grave consequences for the people who need protection. It’s extremely important to read these things and think very deeply about them. Guns are a tool that, when in the wrong hands, can cause catastrophe. There isn’t a gun nut in the world, who would disagree with that statement. The fact still remains that the same tool saves lives more often than it takes lives. In the world of inequality, guns become the great equalizer that allows the disenfranchised a means of protecting themselves. Any attempts to unnecessarily regulate the right to bear arms is a direct threat to your freedoms and life.

Michael A. Romano

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