Move over Shotgun Joe. That was so 2013. Welcome 2019’s Bazooka Joe, who said instead of buying an AR-15, you’re better off buying actual weapons of war.
The former vice president made the comments at a town hall in Las Vegas, just days before the anniversary of the tragic murders there. Biden used the event to call for universal background checks and promote his justifications to ban lawfully owned firearms.
“If you need weapons to protect yourself from the government, you’d better go get an F-15. You’d better buy yourself a fighter jet or a bazooka rocket launcher,” Biden said, according to the Associated Press.
He added, “The idea that an AR-15 is going to protect you from your government — come on!”
Biden said there’s no rationale for owning modern sporting rifles, which are semiautomatic, meaning they fire one bullet for each pull of the trigger. Except the Constitution doesn’t require a reason or rationale for exercising God-given rights, including the right to keep and bear arms.
In fact, the Second Amendment was explicitly included in the Bill of Rights so we, the people, could resist a tyrannical government like the British crown that took as their first hostile act against Americans the seizure of their guns and powder. I imagine the Founders would find it more than a bit troubling to hear the talk of confiscating firearms from the People.
Never mind that these rifles are used for lawful self-defense, recreational target shooting and hunting. This isn’t the first time Biden’s gift of gab was as well-versed on guns as Elmer Fudd.
‘Buy a Shotgun’
In 2013, he infamously said during a Facebook town hall meeting that an AR-15 isn’t a good home defense firearm, but instead advised his wife, Jill, to “buy a shotgun” and blindly “fire two blasts” into the air. Aside from that being illegal (people went to jail invoking the ‘Joe Biden defense’), it is incredibly irresponsible and false on its premise that the modern sporting rifle is hard to aim and shoot and therefore not suitable for self-defense.
Amy Swearer, Senior Legal Policy Analyst for The Heritage Foundation, testified before Congress and included an instance in Georgia where an AR-15 owner used his rifle to defend himself and others against armed teens.
“Ironically, the rifle deemed an assault weapon by many in this room was used defensively to protect innocent people against assault, while the perpetrators used a ‘non-assault weapon’ offensively to commit actual assault,” Swearer said to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee.
The Swalwell Playbook
Biden’s stance on modern sporting rifles grew more radical as he threw his name into the presidential ring. He went from supporting a ban on AR-15-style rifles to supporting confiscation. He took a page from U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell’s (D-Calif.) plan to forcefully grab up lawfully-owned semiautomatic rifles.
That didn’t sound radical enough, so he took the next page, too. Swalwell said that if AR-15 owners possessed their rifles to protect themselves from the government they would face a government ready to use nuclear weapons on its own citizens. Needless to say, Rep. Swalwell dropped from presidential primaries early.
But Biden liked the arguments – both confiscation and the government taking up arms against its citizens. So much, in fact, that in August he adopted saying then that AR-15 owners were better off buying F-15 strike fighters.
Bazooka Joe, though, now is throwing rocket launchers into the mix.
It’s interesting that politicians who are so used to indiscriminately and casually throwing verbal bombs are also so interested in telling serious, thoughtful, and law-abiding Americans how they plan to limit their rights – through force if necessary.
Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel at National Shooting Sports Foundation.