Former Vice President Joe Biden is far from the only 2020 Democratic presidential candidate to call for increased gun control in the wake of the mass shootings over the weekend in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.
But in an interview Monday with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Biden said the quiet part out loud. In fact, one might assert that he bragged about the quiet part out loud.
Biden supports a ban on assault weapons and enhanced background checks — measures he believes would help prevent mass shootings, as The Washington Post noted.
“Does anybody think it made any sense that someone is able to walk into a gun store, buy an assault weapon that has multiple rounds or buy an assault weapon that has 100 rounds?” Biden asked Cooper during the interview, according to Mediaite.
The CNN host then pointed out that conservatives could assert a Biden presidency might mean the government will come to take their guns.
“So to gun owners out there who say, ‘Well, a Biden administration means they will come for my guns,'” Cooper said.
Instead of denying this would be so, Biden was pretty upfront about what he plans to do.
“Bingo,” he responded to Cooper. “You’re right, if you have an assault weapon.”
“The fact of the matter is they should be illegal, period. Look, the Second Amendment doesn’t say you can’t restrict the kinds of weapon people can own. You can’t buy a bazooka, you can’t have a flamethrower,” Biden said.
It’s worth noting, as The Daily Caller News Foundation did, that Biden failed to give any sort of detailed explanation regarding his definition of “assault weapon,” which some liberals and gun control advocates seem to believe is a general term that describes semi-automatic firearms.
Biden then appeared to mock those who oppose gun control so they can be able to defend themselves and their families against the government, if need be.
“The guys who make these arguments are the people who say, ‘The tree of liberty is watered with the blood of patriots, we need the protection against the government,'” Biden said. “You’ll need an F-15 for that. You need something well beyond whether or not you’re going to have an assault weapon.”
Now, Biden insisted he does not plan to confiscate the firearms that Americans already own, saying he simply wants to prohibit the sale of any additional assault weapons and implement buyback programs for the ones that have already been legally purchased.
“I would institute a national buyback program and I would move in the direction of making sure that that in fact was what we tried to do, get them off the street,” Biden told Cooper.
“That’s not walking into their homes, knocking on their doors, going through the gun cabinets,” he said.
“So people would be allowed to keep the weapons they already have,” Cooper clarified.
“Right now, there’s no legal way that I’m aware of to deny them the right if they legally purchased them, but we can in fact make a major effort to get them off the street and out of the possession of people,” Biden said.
So there you have it. Biden claims he wouldn’t force Americans to turn over their guns, but it certainly sounds as though he’s saying that if there was a way for him to do it, he would.
And given the enthusiasm with which he agreed with Cooper’s statement about coming for Americans’ guns, I think it’s fair to take his assurances with a grain of salt.
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