Media reported the president assigned Vice President Kamala Harris, widely panned as “one of the worst VPs in history,” to be the “leading voice” on gun control and charged her with making those issues front and center for the campaign.
Election Day 2024 is “just” about 500 days away.
President Biden is in dire need of some help to sell his gun control bona fides to the activists he wants to keep satisfied. He has failed to pass meaningful gun control legislation around many of his biggest promises and all but admitted he’s unable to do so. His biggest targets continue to be renewing a national ban on modern sporting rifles (MSRs) and to continue the false attacks against the lawful firearm industry through repeated lies.
MSRs are the most popular-selling centerfire rifles in America, with more than 24.4 million in circulation since 1990. That makes them more common than there are Ford F-150 pickup trucks on the road. Public polling around MSRs and whether or not they should be banned shows Americans are much more informed and accepting of the popular semiautomatic rifle and that they don’t support a ban. The current data flies in the face of what the president and his chief messenger Vice President Harris want to pitch to the American people.
The gun control White House duo of President Biden and Vice President Harris face significant obstacles in setting the gun control agenda. The first is Congress and the second is the U.S. Constitution.
Congress won’t entertain legislation introduced to ban MSRs – AR-15 and AK-47 style rifles and their variants. That’s not to say the Biden administration couldn’t attempt to try to get creative with executive orders and rewriting regulations. They’ve done as much with the Frame & Receiver Final Rule and the Stabilizing Pistol Brace Final Rule. Both are dubious though and are facing legal and legislative challenges.
Gun control activists remain irritated and angry at the Biden administration for their inaction on more gun control. What they’re really mad at is that the Biden administration doesn’t have the authority to erase the Second Amendment, which is preventing a radical gun control agenda.
“It is time for Congress to act and stop with the false choices. This is not about getting rid of the Second Amendment,” the vice president once told CNN. “If we really want something that is going to be lasting, we need to pass legislation.”
That’s a stark contrast to when Vice President Harris was a candidate for the top job. During the 2020 presidential race, she vowed to voters to go on her own, unilaterally, to enact strict gun control measures if Congress didn’t act within her first 100 days in office. That included pledging to ban the importation of all so-called “assault weapons,” or MSRs.
According to media reports, she also pledged to mandate “near universal background checks” requiring anyone who sells five or more guns per year to run background checks on all sales and that she would “revoke a gun dealer or manufacturer license if they broke the law and make them criminally liable” through executive action.
Vice President Harris has a challenging task ahead to lead the messaging efforts for an administration that’s facing the realities of trying to sell something the American public isn’t buying. The administration has already admitted failure to do what they promised and are stymied to act further on gun control restrictions.
‘I Did That’
For President Biden’s campaign to attempt to convince the American public to re-hire him, it may not matter who the messenger is on their gun control platform, Vice President Harris or someone else. Americans just might not be buying it. After all, it’s President Biden who has overseen the ongoing historic firearm purchasing stretch.
The confluence of several circumstances has meant the political calculus has changed for voters when it comes to gun rights and firearm ownership. The elected leaders who represent them would be wise to take note.
Significant numbers of minorities have purchased firearms since 2020, including African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Asian Americans. Women have made up between 30-40 percent of firearm purchasers during this historic stretch. Gun rights groups from across the political spectrum, including progressive left-leaning groups, are popular and seeing membership numbers dramatically increase.
It might be time to get one of the gas pump stickers of President Joe Biden saying, “I did that.” It’s his administration’s policies that are driving millions of Americans to lawful gun ownership. Sending Vice President Harris out on the trail to be the “leading voice” on those policies doesn’t resemble an administration that’s listening to the American people.
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