The first rule in retail politics is candidates shouldn’t insult potential voters. It should go without saying that candidates should also avoid threatening them with war. This happened. Literally a threat on American citizens with U.S. military might, invoked by a guy who once had access to the nuke codes.
Former Vice President Biden did it, though. He told rally-goers in Hudson, N.H., just days before they cast their primary ballots, the government would lay waste to them with total warfare if they deemed to exercise their rights by owning semiautomatic rifles as a defense against a tyrannical government.
“The fact is, if you’re going to take on the government you need an F-15 with Hellfire Missiles,” Biden said. “There is no way an AK-47 is going to take care of you if you’re worried about the government knocking down your door.”
Whoa. This a guy who was literally a heartbeat away from the nuclear football.
We’ve seen this play out in this primary before. It didn’t end well. U.S. Congressman Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) tried the same tactic. He was challenged on Twitter for his plan to forcibly confiscate over 17.7 million modern sporting rifles in circulation with an accusation he was trying to spark a war. Rep. Swalwell responded, “And it would be a short war my friend. The government has nukes. Too many of them. But they’re legit. I’m sure if we talked we could find common ground to protect our families and communities.”
Who could refuse such an invitation to negotiate? Well, the Democratic voters did. Congressman Swalwell flamed out, the first to drop from the Democratic primary. Now, the former vice president thinks threatening war on citizens is a winning strategy.
Here’s the problem with what Biden is saying, aside from the whole “bombing” threats.
Politically, you don’t go full “Swalwell” and expect to get away with it. Big League Politics noted at the time of Swalwell’s announcement to quit, that “threatening to turn Republican states into a Fallout 4-esque hell may not have even been enough to earn Swalwell enough donors to gain a coveted place on the next debate stage.”
Biden campaign staffers might want to take notes.
The former vice president’s comments showed not just how little they think of law-abiding gun owners, but how shallow their arguments are for irrational gun control measures. By threatening to use the might of the U.S. military, Biden is reinforcing exactly why the Second Amendment exists in the first place. This is how the citizens of a sovereign nation hold a check on a tyrannical government. The same argument was likely made to our Founding Fathers. How could peasant farmers with muskets possibly repel the British military, the most powerful army and navy on earth at the time?
This, of course, assumes that generals through privates would accept the order to kill American citizens over the right to keep and bear arms as lawful.
Further, it shows that gun control advocates, like former Vice President Biden and Congressman Swalwell, want to have it both ways. They say in one breath that a semiautomatic rifle is no match for American military might and therefore inconsequential. In the next breath, it’s a weapon of war and can’t possibly be trusted in the hands of law-abiding Americans.
This is the real lesson. Threatening American lives over the threat of gun control has historically proven to be a losing strategy. It’s literally how our nation was founded. America voters rejected it with Congressman Swalwell. They’ll do it again with anyone who has their hand on nuclear weapons and threatens to turn on citizens in his own society.
Voters won’t tolerate this. It’s a lesson Biden will learn too late.