If you’re preparing to survive the worst the world can throw at you, it’s almost certain guns play a role in your planning. It’s certainly possible to survive without guns, but it’s a lot harder.
Firearms are the ultimate hunting tool, and they’re also the key to defending yourself and your possessions. Without a gun you’re going to have a hard time stopping looters from taking what they want from you.
Americans have always had the advantage of the Second Amendment, which protects our right to bear arms, but that right has been under attack from politicians for almost a century.
From the 1934 National Firearms Act, which imposed confusing rules on many weapons and introduced tax stamps to the Clinton-era “assault weapons” ban that so many legislators would love to bring back.
There’s steady pressure to restrict who can own guns, what sort of guns they can own and where they can carry them. It’s been a while since any major new restrictions were brought in, and recently courts have done a lot to restore carry rights, but the Biden administration isn’t giving up.
If it can’t actually pass laws to take away our rights, it’ll try to find some other way of doing it.
When he was campaigning for election President Biden claimed he wasn’t anti-gun. That was actually true at the beginning of his Senate career – in 1986 he voted for Reagan’s Firearm Owner’s Protection Act, and even told the Senate, “I have never believed that additional gun control or federal registration of guns would reduce crime” – but it hasn’t been for a long time.
For more than 30 years Biden has been pushing for restrictions on Second Amendment rights. In 1994 he helped guide the Brady Bill – which brought in mandatory background checks and waiting periods – through the Senate.
The same year he was a major supporter of the federal “assault weapon” ban, which banned dozens of popular rifles for a decade because of cosmetic features they were fitted with. That law lapsed in 2004 because the only way Democrats could get it through Congress was to add a sunset provision, but ever since they’ve dreamed of reinstating it.
After the 2012 Sandy Hook elementary school massacre, then-Vice President Biden was the man President Obama chose to spearhead a renewed drive to crack down on gun ownership.
He didn’t manage to pass any new anti-gun laws during Obama’s second term, but in 2021 he found himself in the Oval Office – and, despite his claims during the election campaign, he wasted no time in returning to the subject of gun control.
In June 2022 he signed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which toughened up background checks for under-21s, banned anyone convicted of domestic violence from owning a gun for five years, tightens the law on “straw purchases” (buying a gun for someone who can’t legally own one) and made funding available for states that want to introduce “red flag” laws to remove guns from people with mental health problems.
When Biden signed the 2022 act it was hailed as the most significant piece of gun control legislation since 1994 – but in fact many liberals, apparently including Biden, were disappointed with it.
They’d wanted a law that went much further; the Democrat majority in the House passed a bill that would have mandated safe storage of guns so children can’t get at them as well as banning so-called “large capacity” magazines.
However, to get it through the Senate it needed to be made bipartisan, and the original bill was seriously watered down.
Getting Round Congress
It’s no surprise Biden was disappointed by the 2022 Act; he’d tried to bring in a new “assault weapon” ban during the Obama administration, but it died in the Senate.
Now, since the 2022 midterm elections saw the GOP take back control of the House, he has no chance of getting significant new gun restrictions through Congress.
That’s the way it works in a democracy; the people elect the legislators they want, and if they want pro-Second Amendment ones the president doesn’t get to pass anti-gun laws.
On September 22, 2023 Biden announced the creation of the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention, which will be overseen by Vice President Kamala Harris. The actual chief of the office will be Stefanie Feldman, the White House Staff Secretary. She’ll be backed up by a pair of long-time gun control activists, Greg Jackson and Rob Wilcox.
At the same time as he announced the new office Biden restated that he’s still pushing Congress to bring in tougher anti-gun laws. He can’t do that for now, because he just doesn’t have the votes, but now he has another weapon he can use against the Second Amendment in the meantime.
He says the new team will “implement and expand upon key executive and legislative action,” and specifically mentioned the 2022 Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. What that means is the office will look for ways to interpret existing laws and executive orders in the strictest way possible – and our legal system is very open to that. Laws get rigidly enforced even when they don’t make any sense.
Do you know why you have to do endless paperwork and pay $200 for a tax stamp when you get a “short barreled rifle”? It’s because the 1934 National Firearms Act was originally supposed to ban pistols, and the SBR category was created to prevent people cutting rifles down into handguns.
Of course the pistol ban never happened, but the SBR law was kept anyway – and now people use modified pistols to get round the restriction on SBRs. It makes no sense at all – it’s actually doing the exact opposite of what the law was written to achieve – and yet the BATF enforces it in meticulous detail.
You can bet Biden’s new White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention will be scrutinizing every gun law in the country, finding every little clause that can be used to inconvenience law-abiding citizens and make it harder to own a gun, then encouraging people to enforce them to the letter.
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