On August 30, President Biden emerged from about three weeks of vacation to start what appears to be a full transition from leading the country (if you could call it that) to a dedicated campaign mode.
The sparsely attended appearance in Wilkes-Barre, PA was touted as a promotion for Biden’s “Safer America Plan,” but was really just another opportunity for the president to rail against NRA, Republicans, law-abiding gun owners, semi-automatic firearms, and the Second Amendment.
Biden’s meandering, at times confusing delivery was what you would expect. He told a bunch of stories about himself and others, although they all seemed a bit too contrived, and impossible to verify. But he also told many lies, and made a few gaffes. Again, what you’d expect.
He brought up his long-stated goal of banning semi-automatic firearms, saying, “I’m determined to ban (so-called) assault weapons in this country.” He followed that up with the head-scratcher, “…I want to be clear: It’s not about taking away anybody’s guns.” So, he’s either lying about banning guns, which would, by definition, require taking them away from people, or he’s lying about “not…taking away anybody’s guns.”
He then tried to convince those attending, “But I support the Second Amendment. And I support the Second Amendment.” No matter how often he repeats this line, it remains contradicted by mounds of evidence.
Biden also stated, “Right now, you can’t go on (sic) and buy an automatic weapon. You can’t go out and buy a cannon.” The first part of that is sort of correct, but the second is totally wrong.
Yes, fully-automatic firearms are strictly regulated, and prohibitively expensive for most. But if you want to go through the tremendous amount of red tape required to lawfully procure and own one, are willing to wait anywhere from several months to more than a year for your paperwork to be processed, can find another lawful owner willing to part with one, and have the financial resources, you can buy one.
As for cannons, he’s just wrong, and he likely knows it. He has made the same outrageous claim for a number of years, originally saying you could not buy one at the time the Second Amendment was ratified. That has been proven to be false a number of times.
Now that he has dropped the historical reference, he’s still wrong. Muzzle-loading cannons, which are what most people think of when you say “cannon,” are what existed and were in common use at the time of the ratification of the Second Amendment—and even up to the Civil War and well beyond—and they are not generally prohibited under federal law.
Not satisfied with just lying, Biden then went on to ridicule anyone who opposes his anti-gun agenda, mocking their support of the Second Amendment.
His voice dripping with condescension, Biden proclaimed, “And for those brave, right-wing Americans who say it’s all about keeping America — keeping America as independent and safe: If you want to fight against a country, you need an F-15.”
While not quite as threatening as California U.S. Representative, and failed presidential candidate, Eric Swalwell (D) implying the U.S. government would use nuclear weapons against its own citizens, it’s still a rather disturbing statement to make.
In effect, Biden is saying that it is pointless for U.S. citizens to resist oppression from a tyrannical government—i.e., “keeping America…independent and safe”—because they would be overmatched against a country with its own military forces.
Biden then ran the gamut of nonsense.
First, he claimed “AR-15s just rips (sic) the body apart” of anyone shot by someone wielding one. For anyone with a basic understanding of ballistics, this statement is absurd. Not only does the standard .223 caliber projectile not “rip the body apart,” one of the consistent critiques of the 5.56x45mm cartridge is that it is relatively underpowered.
He followed his lie about AR-15s with the tired joke he’s been using for years about hunting and deer in Kevlar vests. This time, however, he added bear to the mix of animals that don’t wear Kevlar.
Not satisfied with having already shown how little he knows about firearms, he then claimed “the bullet out of an AR-15 travels five times as rapidly as a bullet shot out of any other gun.”
Not only is the cartridge fired by the AR-15 not “five times” faster than “any other gun,” it is actually slower than many other modern cartridges that fire similar weight projectiles. The 5.56x45mm cartridge is limited to around 3,200 feet per second in standard loadings out of the 20 inch or shorter barrels common to AR-15s. Cartridges like the .204 Ruger and .22-250 can push similar bullets up to and beyond 4,000 feet per second.
Of course, he also repeated the lies that he passed the ’94 ban on semi-autos (actually passed by the House and Senate, then signed by President Bill Clinton), and that the ban drove down “mass shootings (studies found no convincing evidence that such laws reduce violent crime generally or even mass shootings in particular).
But a Biden campaign speech wouldn’t be complete without a few gaffes. Throughout his rambling presentation to the small crowd in Wilkes-Barre, there were a number of instances where he mumbled semi-incoherently and trailed off as he appeared to lose his train of thought. For the most part, though, when reading from his teleprompter, he remained reasonably focused, with only a few obvious mistakes when his eyes strayed too far from the screen. At the end, though, looking away from his electronic assistant, he went full Biden.
Trying to come across as the “folksy Biden,” he asked the small gathering, “Please, please elect the Attorney General (Democrat Josh Shapiro) to the Senate. Elect that big ol’ boy (Democrat Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman) to be governor.” Of course, Biden being Biden, he mixed up the candidates and their respective races.
This appearance is likely to be a template for many Biden appearances from now until November’s midterm elections. The man who was sold as a “uniter” to voters in 2020 has completely removed that façade, and is using disdain and derision to show his utter contempt not just for the Second Amendment, but for anyone who opposes his gun-ban agenda.
All who care about freedom in this country should make note of this kind of reckless messaging, and use it to embolden themselves and others to work even harder to ensure we elect staunch defenders of the Second Amendment this coming Election Day, on November 8.