U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) participated in Everytown’s gun control Veepstakes to join 2020 presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on the ticket. Biden’s gun control record is well known, but just like her failed 2020 presidential campaign, Warren misfired.
During the less-than-half-hour virtual townhall, viewed live on twitter by fewer than 17,000 worldwide, Sen. Warren spouted nearly every gun owner misnomer and scare tactic imaginable. The event was hosted by the billionaire Michael Bloomberg-funded gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety and similar groups have already endorsed Biden and pledged to spend $60 million to help him.
More Gun Owner Demonization
Based on her performance, it’s no surprise Sen. Warren’s presidential campaign flamed out. The Bay State senator never placed higher than third in early contests, including a fourth-place “showing” in her own home state. Turns out that likening millions of law-abiding Americans, or the firearm industry as a whole, which employs more than 340,000, to “fearmongering bullies” and “gun rights extremists” who are “morally bankrupt” doesn’t earn many votes.
Perhaps Sen. Warren didn’t hear a record number of Americans recently lawfully purchased firearms, many of whom were first-time buyers. Maybe no one told her the reasons behind these purchases are legitimate and not the condescending broad strokes painted by gun control groups and many in the media.
Maybe Sen. Warren and Everytown are losing the argument because millions believe lawful firearm ownership, protected by the Second Amendment, is practiced by more than a hundred million law-abiding gun owners daily, safely and responsibly.
The ‘Plans’ Candidate
Sen. Warren was the ‘plans’ candidate on the trail; a plan for everything, but never explaining how she would execute her plans. On the Everytown panel, Warren touted her plans and her introduction of the gun control kitchen-sink grab bag Gun Violence Prevention and Community Safety Act.
That bill, rated by USA Today as a “gun ban,” would require gun owners to possess a gun in order to demonstrate hands-on safety testing with a gun before an individual could purchase a gun. It’s quite the Catch-22, and likely Sen. Warren’s intention. The bill also requires every gun to come with a safety lock, and mandates gun owners lock their firearms while not in use. No mention of how that would be enforced. More on the gun locks below.
Data and Crisis
Sen. Warren did offer how she intends to combat criminal misuse of firearms, stating “So look, I’m a big believer that we make the investments, we collect the data. We see that it’s effective. And then, when we see that it works, we know the programs to replicate all across this country.”
Except the firearm industry is already administering programs that have proven to be effective, the Real Solutions. Safer Communities initiative. This includes the Project ChildSafe partnership with local law enforcement which has already distributed more than 38 million gun locks to firearm owners free of charge, as well as Operation Secure Store to educate firearm retailers to reduce burglaries and robberies.
The firearm industry worked to change the laws in 16 states and in Congress with the FIX NICS Act to get all disqualifying background check records into the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) led the bill that was signed into law. He got 78 senators to agree on it, including Sen. Warren. It’s likely she didn’t want to bring that up, since the bill was named for NSSF’s efforts.
NSSF has also worked with the American Society for Suicide Prevention to reduce the tragedy of suicide. All of these efforts have paid off with the lowest level of unintentional firearm fatalities in America in more than one hundred years in 2019.
Sen. Warren wrapped up her Everytown panel decrying the “politics as usual” nature of Washington, D.C. What she offered, though, was more of the same governing-by-crisis.
“I don’t think in the middle of a health care crisis is when most Americans want anyone to be playing politics.” She followed up seven seconds later, “And that’s why I think this crisis around the coronavirus and gun safety so fit with each other…help us keep our children safe.”
Never let a crisis go to waste, right Sen. Warren?
Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.