In the wake of the horrific school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, many politicians have come out in support of some type of gun control legislation. This proposition is on both sides of the aisle, with Republicans like Senator Mitch McConnell (KY) and Representative Adam Kinzinger (IL) saying they welcome discussion on the topic.
However, many conservatives are concerned that any proposed legislation will only be a proverbial footstool for even harsher 2A legislation. This can be attributed to comments made by both President Joe Biden and members of his party. On the campaign trail, Biden promised a myriad of things; he would ban “assault weapons,” institute a buy-back program, increase the universal background check system, and ban high-capacity magazines. Since the Uvalde tragedy, Biden has made multiple gaffes regarding firearms. Most recently, he said that the 9mm could “blow a lung out of the body.”
As Biden’s comments were made public on Memorial Day, Twitter users reacted quickly. While some praised the comments, many pointed out the inaccuracies of the statements.
Biden said: “The .22 caliber bullet will lodge in the lungs and we can get it out. A 9mm bullet blows the lung out of the body. The idea of a high caliber weapon, there is simply no rational basis for it in terms of self-protection, hunting.”
A 9mm is a caliber that is common in personal handguns as well as in weapons used by law enforcement. However, there are other calibers which are much more powerful than the 9mm. Most likely, the president is referring to the fact that one can purchase a higher capacity magazine for a 9 mm handgun, but the 10 mm and the .357 calibers are much more powerful than a 9 mm bullet. The caliber is popular due to less recoil when firing the weapon, and a magazine can hold up to fifteen rounds compared to a .45 caliber that usually holds eight or less rounds.
Even statistics from the ATF show that Biden’s comments likely target the popularity of the caliber rather than its power. Between 2010 and 2019, sales of 9 mm guns made up just over 56 percent of handgun sales.
Many Twitter users posted similar reactions: “Oh, we’re going after handguns now?” and Stephen Miller, former Trump advisor, said, “Going after 9mm means going after handguns. Not just rifles. Have fun.”
The gunman in Uvalde as well as the shooter in Buffalo, NY used an AR-15 (ArmaLite Rifle) when carrying out their horrendous crimes.
While many Americans want something to prevent high-risk individuals from accessing weapons of any kind, just as many are concerned with a comment that Joe Biden has made twice: “The Second Amendment is not absolute.” President Biden has said numerous times that Americans “could not buy cannons” during the American Revolution (even the Washington Post has given President Biden four Pinnochios for this statement).
Although President Biden said he doesn’t plan to do anything regarding the Second Amendment, his comments have some Americans worried. Not only has he made statements that Congress should make new laws regarding 2A, he made campaign promises to that effect. In the last few days, President Biden has blamed Republicans in Congress for being unable to do much about procuring guns in America. He has even stated that he personally “can’t do much,” referring to executive orders on his part.
Certainly, if President Biden did sign an executive order that banned any type of weapon or possibly banned the 9 mm handgun, for example, he would most likely be sued and the Supreme Court would eventually hear the case.
Most Americans are horrified by the senseless killings in Buffalo and in Uvalde. While there are many who advocate for updates to current gun laws, it’s important to remember that neither of the shooters would have failed a background check. The legislation passed in the House in 2021, cited as a means of “fixing” loopholes in legally procuring a gun, wouldn’t have stopped the gunmen.
Yet, both of these individuals posted cryptic messages or statements on social media. These statements should have been red flags that should have been taken seriously.