The normal arguments came from the normal politicians. Elizabeth Warren came out calling gun violence a national health crisis. Beto O’Rourke and Eric Swalwell continued the push for an “assault” weapons ban. Swalwell also stated that the National Rifle Association “enables the deaths of 1,000s of kids.” He made that claim in response to former vice president Joe Biden saying that manufacturers, not the NRA, are the enemy. Biden was trying to push smart gun technology.
Biden also bragged about his role in the 1994 “assault weapons” ban. That law banned civilians from purchasing new semi-auto rifles that contained certain features. It also limited the number of rounds in a magazine to 10. The law lifted in 2004 without the predicted blood in the streets.
Another idea came from Cory Booker, who thinks gun owners should be licensed like drivers. Andrew Yang agrees, but wants competency licenses with different levels. Kamala Harris promised action on guns. In fact, when it came to guns, these politicians constantly clamored over one another to be the most extreme, or sensible, regarding guns, depending on one’s view.
Concerns Coming out of Democratic Presidential Debate
Most of the information coming out of the debates isn’t new. In fact, gun owners have heard for years about the scary-looking semi-auto rifles that should be banned. Even the idea of smart guns isn’t new; folks have been discussing the feasibility of smart gun technology for years.
“We should have smart guns,” said Biden. “No gun should be able to be sold unless your biometric measure could pull the trigger. It’s within our right to do that. We can do that. Our enemy is the gun manufacturers, not the NRA.”
Many might not realize the importance of that statement. Biden is a seasoned politician who understands how to work the halls of Congress. He also understands that requiring smart gun technology might be a way around the Second Amendment. The U.S. Supreme Court has confirmed the right of guns, but requiring technology to be added isn’t banning guns. This would be a whole new legal argument that could go for years.
Sen. Kamala Harris, however, arguable went the furthest during the debate. She promised to, if elected, give Congress 100 days to act on gun control. If that didn’t happen, she would enact universal background checks via executive action.