On Monday, President Joe Biden took to the South Lawn of the White House to speak on the recent gun control legislation signed into law last week. Biden had touted the speech as a “celebration” as it was a bipartisan effort with at least fourteen Republican Senators on board. However, President Biden was interrupted during his speech, ironically, by the father of a student killed in the 2018 Parkland shooting in Florida.
Manuel Oliver, whose son Joaquin was killed at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School, was removed from the grounds shortly after interrupting the president.
Oliver had previously criticized the Biden Administration in a tweet. The tweet read: “The word CELEBRATION has no space in a society that saw 19 kids massacred just a month ago. ‘Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.’ Not me, not Joaquin.”
It is unclear exactly what Oliver said as he interrupted the president, but Biden responded mid-speech. Biden told the man, “Sit down. . . You’ll hear what I have to say. . . We have one. Let me finish my comment. . . Let me talk.”
Soon, Biden segued into remarks about an assault weapons ban. Biden would discuss the physical damage that these types of weapons are purported to cause to humans, and he stated that “it doesn’t make sense that civilians are allowed to have the same weapons” as those in the military.
Biden and many Democratic lawmakers have recently began referring to AR-15s as “weapons of war.” Matthew Maruster, a veteran and concealed carry weapons instructor, refutes this logic. Maruster states that no military in the world utilizes a semi-automatic AR-15. He adds that AR-15s are semi-automatic – like 90 percent of other rifles on the market.
Biden would also propose banning assault rifles once more during his Monday speech. It’s likely that Oliver’s comments had to do with resurrecting another ban. “Assault weapons need to be banned. They were banned. I’m determined to ban these weapons again.”
Other areas of Biden’s speech were mired by holes and half-truths. Biden mentioned that so-called assault weapons are not used for hunting. In most states, AR-15s are banned as hunting rifles. Why? They typically carry a 5.56 caliber round or a .223 round, which may injure game without providing a quick – and more humane – kill. Some will use an AR-15 to rid property of pests such as coyotes and feral hogs. In fact, in 2017, The Atlantic wrote: “556 or . 223, does not have near the stopping power as many other regularly used hunting rifles. Many hand gun rounds are larger and more deadly. The AR 15 has never been, nor ever will be a military grade weapon.”
Biden claimed that some humans had to be identified using DNA because their wounds left them unrecognizable. According to The New York Post, this is true. The Post spoke with Uvalde Justice of the Peace Eulalio Dias Jr. in the aftermath of the shooting, and he said that while his office attempted to use descriptions of clothing the parents had given him regarding their children, the “bodies were so badly shot up” that he finally requested DNA samples. Diaz mentioned wanting to spare parents as much of the horror as possible.
Details about the capabilities of so-called assault rifles aren’t the only things that Biden seemed to have gaffed during his speech Monday. Biden said that the Parkland shooting took place in 1918. In fact, the horrific shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School took place on February 14, 2018.
Biden misspoke shortly after being interrupted by Manuel Oliver.
Biden began his speech by naming a few Republicans who had supported the bill, including Texas Senator John Cornyn. Biden jokingly said he hoped he “didn’t get any (Republican senators) in trouble.”
Senator Cornyn was speaking at the Texas state GOP convention last last month when he was booed from the stage. Many are concerned about the possibility of red flags laws that are encouraged by funding to the states agreeing to do so. Opponents point to the possibility these laws could be misused. In addition, critics say red flag laws would not have prevented the Uvalde shooting nor would they have prevented the Highland Park shooting in Chicago during Independence Day weekend.