Joe Biden’s the last man standing, and millions of gun owners are watching.
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said so long to the presidential race and now it’s a Biden vs. Trump bout coming up in November. Progressive Sen. Sanders has undoubtedly pushed Democrats to the left, but it’s former Vice President Biden who has made gun control a rallying cry. For left-leaning voters, it’s a “dance with the one who brought you” situation and the #GUNVOTE will matter.
During the coronavirus pandemic, hundreds of thousands of new gun owners hopped off the fence, made a purchase and exercised their Second Amendment right to protect themselves, their families and their homes and property. They’re now going to be confronted with a presidential candidate who made a career and a campaign of doing everything to blunt their ability to lawfully own and possess firearms. There’s no shortage of gaffes, distortions and misstatements.
Keeping Communities Safe
Local firearm retailers, manufacturers and businesses by now should know the deal. Biden has repeatedly proclaimed, “I’m coming after you. Period.” That would be a big mistake. The firearm industry makes the free exercise of Second Amendment rights possible. It’s also the industry that supplies the U.S. military with the small arms and ammunition needed to defend the nation. On top of that, the firearm industry provides law enforcement with their firearm and ammunition needs, including those agents in darks suits and sunglasses that surrounded the former vice president for eight years. Top that off with the fact the industry buoys thousands of communities across the country through jobs and economic support. That is more than 332,000 jobs, and an economic impact of $60 billion in 2019 to be specific. In fact, the industry grew 213 percent since Biden was sworn in as President Barack Obama’s vice president in 2008. Sinking an industry to score political points isn’t winning strategy.
A Record To Lose Votes
More than 100 million law-abiding Americans own firearms, hundreds of thousands of them recent first-time owners. As they tune in and learn more about the candidates’ records, Biden’s words might surprise them. He repeats the false claim that gun manufactures are immune to lawsuits. He’s pledged to appoint failed presidential candidate and former U.S. Rep. Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke (D-Texas) who vowed to forcibly confiscate lawfully-owned firearms as his gun grabbing sheriff. He was dressed down by a gun-supporting worker at a Detroit auto factory who correctly pointed out Biden’s own erroneous gun claims.
The former “Veep” gladly takes assistance from gun control groups like the billionaire Bloomberg-funded Everytown for Gun Safety and Brady Campaign, all while touting his “courageous” support for the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban. That legislation did not reduce criminal misuse of firearms. He calls for banning “semiautomatic assault weapons,” but pillorizes a rifle for cosmetic features that have nothing to do with how the gun operates. He purposely conflates semiautomatic firearms with the military’s automatic firearms to scare those who don’t know the difference.
The election is seven months away, but voters are tuning in to how candidates will affect their lives and livelihood. When it comes to guns, gun owners and the industry that supports them, it’s best to take Biden at his word.
Larry Keane is Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs and General Counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry trade association.