Is below me Columns on the hill On requests for a ban on carrying weapons after the massacre in Uvalde, Texas. The massacre has previously been used as a basis for calls for an end to sedition, court closures, gun ownership restrictions and outright bans. One of the members called all of the above. This rhetoric has once again surpassed the reality of constitutional and practical restrictions on gun control. Last night, President Joe Biden formally called for a ban on “offensive weapons.” Repeating a suspicious claim That drastically reduced the previous ban on mass shootings.
Here is the column:
In our hated and divisive politics, there are times when our nation does not seem to be able to come together for a common goal. Tragedies – moments of shared national grief and mutual support – were once the exception. However, one of the most frightening aspects of the aftermath of the school massacre in Uvalde, Texas, was how the moment of unity was quickly lost in political stances.
Politicians have long acknowledged that crisis is an opportunity not to be missed – the greater the tragedy, the greater the opportunity. after Mass shooting in Buffalo supermarketGovernor of New York Katie Hoochol (D) Called for censorship To “silence the voice of hatred and racism.” After the Uvalde massacre, some Democrats demanded everything again Court packaging To End the Senate sedition.
The most immediate response, however, was to call for a gun ban. vice president Kamala Harris He left in front of the White House AR-15 Prohibition Request, The most popular weapon in America. Then the president Joe Biden He made a fuss by suggesting that he might be looking for it Prohibition of 9 mm weapons.
Such calls are not limited to the United States. Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau announced His government is enacting legislation to “enforce a national ceasefire.” He said Canadians could no longer “buy, sell, transport or import firearms anywhere in Canada,” adding that “there is no reason why anyone in Canada should need a firearm in their daily lives.”
The difference between the two countries’ pressure is the existence of a second amendment in the United States – a constitutional “reason” for allowing Americans to bear arms. They do not have to prove it to the government.
There is now Strong majority For arms control reform, however, politicians are once again ignoring what is constitutionally possible by focusing on what is politically popular at their polling station.
In the past, politicians in cities such as New York, Chicago and Washington, DC have proven to be the biggest assets of the gun lobby. they have Unreasonable laws and pressure on litigation Which only helped to establish a record against gun control. The same pattern seems to apply as leaders like Biden and Harris make widespread and unsupported statements about guns and constitutional protections. For example, despite repeated reforms, President Biden continues to do so Repeat the same incorrect sentences On the prohibition of weapons during the adoption of the Second Amendment.
These false statements can be dismissed as Just another story from “Corn Pop”., But refer to the foundation of the constitution to control weapons. This concern is exacerbated by other recent allegations that are rapidly disappearing in court. For example, in support of the AR-15 ban, Harris declared: “Do you know what an offensive weapon is? It was designed for a specific purpose, to quickly kill large numbers of people. An offensive weapon is a weapon of war. “No place in a civil society.”
The courts do not interpret the constitution with audio excerpts, but with valid historical and textual arguments. The courts are likely to pressure the Biden government on why it is seeking to ban the model when other higher-caliber weapons are sold. The AR-15 can control a variety of calibers. However, they are not more powerful than other semi-automatic rifles of the same caliber, and in fact have a lower caliber than some conventional weapons that use 0.30-06, .308 and .300 ammunition. Many of these guns fire at the same speed – or about the same – with the AR-15. None of these weapons are classified as actual military “offensive weapons” and most civilians cannot carry automatic weapons.
President Biden showed the same Harris rift between the real and rhetorical basis of some gun control measures. He condemned “high-caliber weapons” such as 9mm guns, saying: “A .22 caliber bullet goes into the lungs, and we can probably pull it out – maybe we can get it and save a life. A 9 mm bullet removes the lungs from the body.
while Gun experts made fun of him The notion that 9mm bullets would drive limbs out of the body, the president’s use of these rifles made many cry with the use of the Uvalde massacre to impose a similar Canadian ban or suspension. The 9mm bullet is the most popular caliber handgun in the United States, using more than half of all handguns produced in 2019. Shooting industry If Biden had imposed a ban, the magazine would have targeted more than 40 percent of all US-made pistols.
In addition to repetition (for The second time in two daysBiden falsely claimed that the ban on certain weapons was passed in the Second Amendment, arguing that the ban on offensive weapons in the 1990s “significantly reduced massacres.”
There is little support for saying that the previous ban on offensive weapons had a significant impact on the massacre. There is no support for saying that it has reduced gun violence in general. Fortunately, mass shootings are statistically rare. Even studies that point to a reduction in mass shootings in the previous period have suggested that such claims are causal. “Inconclusive.”
In addition, the previous ban was imposed in 1994 – before the Supreme Court ruled District of Columbia v. Heller That the right to bear arms is an individual right. Any ban today will face a much bigger challenge in court and will require a very convincing real basis for the adoption of the constitution.
While making these dubious allegations, President Biden stressed “I can not dictate these things … I can not make weapons illegal.” “I think the situation is so bad that everyone is more rational about it,” he added. “That is my least hope and prayer.”
There is room for rational reform, from better funding for mental illness to red flag laws. However, “hope and prayer” seems unlikely to succeed if the president continues to inject propaganda and politics into our national arms control debate.
Jonathan Torley is Professor of Shapiro Public Interest Law at George Washington University. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.