The election was hard-fought, and while the results were disputed for a while, it’s settled (unless there is a miracle of some sort): Joe Biden will be taking the presidency. While caught up on the election itself, there has not been a lot of focus on certain issues, including the question of how will the 2nd Amendment survive a Biden presidency?
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Joe Biden is Anti-Gun to the Core. How will the 2nd Amendment Survive Him?
Joe Biden’s official website lays out a sleuth of anti-gun policies they would like to push through. The most popular of these proposals is the push to ban assault rifles.
Of course, they cannot actually want to ban assault rifles seeing as they are already banned. Automatic rifles were banned in the 80s during the Reagan administration.
When they say assault rifles, they mean semi-automatic rifles. They also want a ban on high-capacity magazines. To gun owners, a high-capacity magazine might mean 45+ rounds in a magazine. 30 rounds are standard on many magazines, like those of the AR-15 and the AK-47, for example.
Democrats always frame their proposals as “common sense,” sensible gun reform. However, these measures are going after what gun owners know as the standard experience. They talk as if these are weapons of war that only a monster would desire.
However, they are going after very practical and useful firearms. At this point in American gun communities, the AR-15 may as well be considered the pinnacle of shooting for its versatility and quality.
They also betray their claims of wanting to support mental healthcare. They would like to make it much easier to strip gun rights of the mentally ill.
While there are sadly some people whose mental health degrades to the point where they probably should not have firearms, a wide-reaching policy to address this issue can easily open up a slippery slope. The majority of people who seek mental healthcare are sane. However, this opens the door to people, for example, with depression being reported as a danger to themselves or others and having their 2nd Amendment rights stripped. This would likely cause many people who need help to avoid seeking it to avoid being flagged by the system and losing rights.
What Can They Actually Get Done?
Every politician has policies they would like to pass, but that doesn’t mean they will be able to. However, things do not look great here either. Come 2021, Democrats will control the House of Representatives, and Democrat Joe Biden will be the president. Control of the Senate will come down to two races in Georgia. While the general election is over, Georgia’s two Senate races are going to a run-off election. Georgia has been a consistently red state for a while, but this year, it went blue in the presidential race.
If they lose, Republicans will lose their slight majority, 51/100, in the Senate. This could clear a path for gun legislation to easily clear the House, Senate, and get signed by the presidency. There is a lot riding on the Georgia elections, so if you live there, be sure to make sure your voice is heard.
There is still the Supreme Court, which has 6/9 conservative judges. They would assumedly shoot down the worst gun legislation. However, the Supreme Court is not meant to act completely partisan. If legislation clears Congress and Biden’s desk, their only job is to determine if it goes against the constitution or not. This means that they may not be able to prevent all legislation form making it through.
Ironically, it’s the Democrats who want to erode their non-partisanship. Some have been calling to increase the number of Supreme Court justices, and with Congress and the Presidency in the hands of the Democratic Party, these would be liberal judges. One might assume that increasing the number of Supreme Court justices would require some special process, but it is as simple as passing a bill.
This would be harmful for Republicans in the short term, and short-sighted thinking by Democrats. Once the precedent of not upping the number of justices is broken, it will open a bit of a Pandora’s Box. Every time one party gains control of the rest of government, they could just up the justices. The Supreme Court would become another partisan branch of government. The Supreme Court is meant to simply judge on whether legislation is constitutional or not. Turning them into more of a partisan branch of government would seriously hurt the integrity of the American Government.
All of these policies that they may try to push through comes at a time when many Americans have been getting into firearms for the first time. There were roughly 5 million new gun owners this year and Americans have been buying more guns than ever. Perhaps, these new gun owners will help long-time gun owners push back against the egregious legislation that is planned. The elections for the Georgia Senate seats will tell us a lot about what is to come.
By: Jay Chambers
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