Newsweek is reporting increased gun sales nationwide, “driven by concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, urban riots and the likelihood of increased regulation if the Democrats win the White House, regain control of the Senate and hold the House.”
With the election one weekend away, the gun issue may become the deciding factor in a race that has clearly split the nation farther apart than it already was.
One sign of that is the FactCheck.org effort to make a tempest in a teapot over a Donald Trump advertisement that has edited a remark Joe Biden made to CNN’s Anderson Cooper about banning guns. According to the Trump advertisement, “Joe Biden openly admitted his plan to violate our Second Amendment rights.”
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Cooper asks the former Vice President, “To gun owners out there who say, well, a Biden administration means they’re going to come for my guns.” After that, FactCheck.org notes, Biden is shown saying, “Bingo. You’re right.”
But FactCheck.org says that’s deceptive because Biden isn’t talking about banning all guns, just so-called “assault weapons.”
Under Biden’s scheme to “end gun violence,” the Democrat hopeful says his administration would ban such firearms. Gun rights activists see that as just a stepping stone, because a Biden administration would seek to register guns, require so-called “enhanced background checks” on all gun transfers and adopt other restrictions, including one-gun-per-month limits.
“Biden actually argued that banning Americans from purchasing assault weapons wouldn’t be a violation of their constitutional rights, and he said he wouldn’t confiscate firearms that had already been purchased legally,” FactCheck.org argues, in defense of Biden.
But many in the firearms community say otherwise; that banning manufacture and sales of modern sporting rifles would definitely violate the Second Amendment, which was never about hunting or target shooting.
One bright spot for gun owners who are often sluggish if not downright apathetic about voting is the revelation by the Washington Free Beacon that Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund has spent less than half of its threatened $60 million to flip state legislatures and help elect an anti-gun Congress. The story says Everytown has spent “less than $26 million.”
And there is something else. The advertising in swing states especially targeting Republicans haven’t been about gun control at all, but other issues, the Free Beacon revealed.
Quoting author and constitutional law professor Joyce Lee Malcolm at George Mason University, she noted, “With calls to defund the police and a record-setting 11 million applications for purchase of guns in the first six months of this year (40 percent of which are first-time gun purchasers), Americans are more concerned with their safety and that of their families from violent riots and mayhem than gun control,” according to the Free Beacon story.
Seven months ago, gun control might have made some sense to millions of people, but a steady diet of evening riots in places including Portland and Seattle have changed attitudes. An estimated five million people bought guns since March who had never before owned a gun and may have supported gun control laws. Reports of defunding police haven’t helped either, the Free Beacon story noted.
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