With three early states completed and 47 primaries to go, the results look shockingly good for America’s most popular socialist millionaire U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and surprisingly bad for the former frontrunner, former Vice President Joe Biden. Going into the South Carolina primary, Sen. Sanders has a lead with 34 delegates and the once-favored former Vice President is in an abysmal 5th place with only six delegates.
Ever since the fiasco that was the Iowa caucus, however, former Vice President Biden has tried to rally his lagging campaign with increasingly radical and incoherent attacks on every aspect of the Second Amendment. In a recent speech in New Hampshire, he claimed that an “AK-47 is not going to take care of you” because if “you’re going to take on the government you need an F-15 with Hellfire Missiles.”
It doesn’t take a political strategist to understand that this type of violent hyperbole, used similarly by Congressman Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) when he alluded to using nuclear weapons on law-abiding gun owners, is used only by candidates who are desperate to regain their campaign’s relevance by attacking millions of citizens for lawfully exercising their Second Amendment rights.
Clips and Magazines
Former Vice President Biden continued to flaunt his lack of knowledge on Second Amendment issues this past week in Nevada’s town halls, where he pledged to “get those clips that have multiple bullets in them not for sale.” In prior speeches, Biden’s gaffe was even more extreme, saying “nobody says you can have a magazine with 100 clips in it.”
Despite his appalling ignorance, it is vital that all law-abiding gun owners understand the unprecedented threat these policy proposals mean to rights, even if they are poorly thought out and incoherently explained.
Joe Biden must have forgotten the British tried this once.
It did not go so well for them.
— Andrew Pollack (@AndrewPollackFL) February 25, 2020
The former vice president didn’t stop there, though. He renewed his absurd pledge to allow lawsuits against the firearms manufacturing industry while attacking Sen. Sanders’ record on all things guns.
Sen. Sanders has waffled back and forth on his stance to repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) that protects firearm manufacturers from frivolous lawsuits. That’s not the case for former Vice President Biden, who has long been determined to see it stripped away. S
en. Sanders used to understand that holding a manufacturer responsible for the criminal misuse of firearms by remote third parties over whom they have not control defies all norms of legal jurisprudence. Biden, though, insists that these companies are “going to be held accountable because I’m coming after them.”
Lawful Protections, Lawful Industry
Former Vice President Biden says that those who vote to keep these sensible protections for the firearms industry do so only because they are “cowards that are afraid to take on the special interests.” The real reason the PLCAA is still law, however, is because the majority of people in this country see arguments like Biden’s as a thinly-veiled strategy intended to put gun manufacturers out of business by burying them in thousands of expensive, frivolous lawsuits.
That is exactly what was happening to the firearms industry beginning in the mid-1990s when several dozen municipalities filed frivolous lawsuits seeking to shutter the industry or impose regulation through settlement of the litigation. Not only would this scheme – then and now – deprive law abiding Americans of a free and fair marketplace in which to purchase firearms that meet their specific requirements for personal protection, home defense, hunting or recreational shooting, it would also cripple an industry that in 2019 employed 149,146 people in the country and generate an additional 162,845 jobs in supplier and ancillary industries.
Shuttering the industry would undermine national security and public safety since our industry provides the tools the military and men and women in blue use to protect our nation and communities.
No one believes a car company should be held accountable if someone drives drunk and causes an accident. It’s time the former vice president admits repealing the PLCAA is anything but a plot to irreversibly damage both an American industry and Americans’ right to bear arms.
Former Vice President Biden may be counting on ignorant rhetorical excess to salvage his latest flagging presidential bid, but he apparently hasn’t processed the news of where it has already led the likes of Swalwell and former Democratic Texas Congressman Robert “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15” O’Rourke.
Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.