The country's top politicians and Presidential hopefuls started pitching their gun control ideas once again. Senators have called for a renewed Federal Assault Weapons ban. Others have called for mandatory gun turn-in events (with the threat of prison), and others still have introduced bills banning firearms made at home. Given his popularity as a potential Democratic front-runner, we reviewed Joe Biden's stance on gun control and the 2nd Amendment ahead of the 2020 election (and they aren't good):
Joe Biden pitched guns requiring fingerprint locks
This suggestion might sound like something out of a Sci-Fi movie, but Mr. Biden recently told the Washington Examiner that he advocates for firearms requiring fingerprint locks: "I've never heard of that before, I think it's worth looking into... I don't know whether, where that is in terms of under the Constitution whether we're able to do that. My guess is we could."
Both his stance and his interpretation of Constitutional law is worrying. No company has brought to market a successful, mass-produced, reliable gun that requires unlocking with a fingerprint scanner. The technology is un-proven and unreliable. Furthermore, introducing legislation like this would impact tens of millions of gun owners across America.
Biden repeatedly called for an Assault Weapon Ban
Like many Presidential hopefuls, Mr. Biden also called for an Assault Weapon Ban -- only his call came more than once. One of those instances occurred at the height of the Obama presidency. To be sure, it's common for Presidential hopefuls to make large campaign promises (or propose a ban that failed once already). It's an entirely different issue when the Vice President makes the same case while in office.
Biden is against AR-15 ownership
Perhaps most worrying is Biden's apparent disdain for -- and complete misunderstanding of -- personal defense and the AR-15 rifle. As Vice President, Biden conducted a Q&A interview on Facebook. When asked, Biden said that Americans who want to protect their homes from invasion should not buy an AR-15, but instead invest in a shotgun (source). Incredulously, he once instructed his wife to, "walk out and put that double-barrel shotgun and fire two blasts outside the home."
We find his misunderstanding of firearms and common-sense self-defense the most worrying. Just within the past two years, multiple news stories have reported home owners successfully defending their families and property from multiple armed intruders. They were using AR-15s. One man stopped 7 suspects in Florida. Another repelled three intruders in Oklahoma.
Why Biden's position on 2nd Amendment is worrying
Election season and political rhetoric go together quite well. Candidates like to make big promises to their base. Folks with a real shot at winning the White House - like a former Vice President battling against an incumbent - already have credibility. They tend to keep their messaging "safer" and moderated, so they can attract more centrist voters.
Biden seems to have already jumped past this and go for the 2nd Amendment directly. With so many candidates vying for office in a volatile political race, Biden's tactics may only be intended to drum up larger crowds at the podium. Regardless, his draconian, anti-2A statements show he's confident he can win with a strong message on gun control.
The only problem with this is that if he wins, he'll need to make good on some of those promises.
Democrats like to jail Americans
Older shooters may call a particular "Assault Weapons Ban" that passed in 1994. Aimed at reducing gun violence, the AWB had no measurable effect on gun crime or mass shootings.
And then there's the "Violent Crime Bill" that was passed by the Clinton Administration in 1994. The 1994 Crime Bill instituted a "three-strikes" approach for repeat offenders. The bill was not only destroyed by the media as being woefully ineffective, but it destroyed Americans' lives. Mass incarceration toppled communities and put away non-violent offenders and youths for decades, for minor offenses. Then-president Clinton later apologized for even signing the bill.
This represents a huge problem if Biden is to win the Presidency in 2020. A Democratic party with a history of pushing bad legislation and jailing Americans to solve problems is no good for the 2nd Amendment - especially at a time when weapons like the much-loved AR-15 are under intense (but unjustified) scrutiny.
Gun control is popular among 2020 Democrats
It's no secret that gun control turns heads during Presidential elections. The topic is guaranteed to come up, though recent elections have seen some dangerous arguments. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey is also seeking to gain an edge in the early race by calling for some of the most extreme gun control yet: A national firearms license requirement, completely "universal" background checks, a federal registry of guns, and a federal registry of gun owners.
If Biden's calls for gun control aren't even as extreme as another credible candidate's, and if he's already looking like the Democratic frontruner for 2020, then we have a serious problem. Biden calling for another Assault Weapons Ban after the first one didn't work is only more cause for worry. Pick your candidate carefully.