During his presidential campaign, President Joe Biden emphasized gun control as a key aspect of his agenda, particularly focusing on the prohibition of firearms referred to as assault weapons. These include semi-automatic rifles such as the AR-15. It seems that he is maintaining this stance in his current campaign as well.
Vice President Kamala Harris recently made a commitment that drew criticism from the biggest gun rights advocacy group in the United States.
On the 22nd of August, Harris shared a statement from Biden on the social media platform previously referred to as Twitter. The President expressed his resolute commitment to prohibiting assault weapons, stating that he had previously achieved this and was dedicated to doing so once more for the benefit of the American populace.
Harris confidently proclaimed that Biden had faced the NRA head-on and emerged victorious.
The vice president and president were alluding to his 1994 vote in favor of the crime bill, which included the prohibition of semi-automatic firearms. President Bill Clinton subsequently enacted the bill into law.
He can do it again. pic.twitter.com/gix1vXVtRw
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) August 22, 2023
In response to Harris, the NRA issued a statement to Fox News Digital. Spokesperson Billy McLaughlin advised the VP to acquaint herself with historical facts before engaging on social media. He elaborated that the NRA was instrumental in the expiration of the bill in 2004 after its 10-year restriction on the mentioned weapons. Following its expiration, ownership of AR-15 rifles surged from 850,000 at that time to 25 million as of today.
The debate regarding the effectiveness of the assault weapons ban has given rise to various perspectives. Numerous studies indicate a decrease in mass shootings during its implementation, while a significant increase occurred when the ban was lifted. However, in 1999, the Department of Justice concluded that the ban had shown no notable effectiveness.
As highlighted by the NRA, the current global landscape differs greatly from that of the 1990s. A survey conducted by The Washington Post and Ipsos in March revealed that 31% of adults possess firearms, with 20% admitting ownership of semi-automatic rifles. This corresponds to around 16 million Americans having an AR-15 in their possession.
The complete elimination of firearms from the American landscape would be an exceedingly challenging endeavor. Additionally, it’s worth noting that handguns are responsible for more annual fatalities than rifles, though the focus of the President’s attention remains on the types of firearms his party frequently raises concerns about.
Given the Democratic Party’s lack of a majority in the House and their slim lead in the Senate, the prospects of the President successfully advancing an assault weapons ban through Congress are highly unlikely. Such an endeavor would require a Congress majority impervious to filibustering.