While speaking at the National Education Association (NEA) annual meeting on Tuesday in Chicago, Vice President Kamala Harris took the opportunity to speak about the shooting that occurred at a 4th of July parade in nearby Highland Park.
Perhaps most notably, Harris called for an assault weapons ban, something President Joe Biden has also recently called for, as the vice president claimed, "Congress needs to have the courage to act and renew the assault weapons ban."
When describing an "assault weapon," she spoke of it as being "designed to kill a lot of human beings quickly," proclaiming "there is no reason that we have weapons of war on the streets of America" and that "we need reasonable gun safety laws!"
Even the senators working on the recently passed gun control legislation acknowledged that an assault weapons ban is impractical. It was one more example of Democrats in disarray, as I highlighted last month when negotiations for the legislation were being worked on.
Just as Biden called for in his gun control speech last month, which Matt highlighted at the time was full of inaccuracies, the vice president referenced "the liability shield" that she says is "protecting those gun manufacturers," saying Congress needs to stop doing so, leading her to chant "Repeal It! Repeal It!" in a line that was met with applause from the audience.
Harris also called on the NEA to join her in calling for the ban. "So we cannot be deterred. We know we have challenges. We cannot be deterred," she said. "And, NEA, we will not give up this fight. We will not tire because I know who you are; that is just not in our nature."
The vice president spoke to the gun control legislation that recently passed as well, referring to it as "some progress." Even the media, though, as I highlighted when pointing to a report from The Hill, has spoken of Biden's victory on that issue as a "short-lived" victory.
She would later reference assault weapons in a particularly political and partisan portion of her remarks, in which she lambasted "extremist so-called 'leaders.'"
Harris went on a rant against such "extremists" in which she said the following, which earned applause lines throughout:
And so much of what we just got through talking about is what extremist so-called “leaders” stand against.
Since our administration has started, not one Republican leader in Washington voted to rescue our nation in the middle of a pandemic, including when we proposed resources for our children and our educators.
Not one Republican leader in Washington, D.C., voted to extend the Child Tax Credit, which helps the poorest students and their families.
Instead, these extremist so-called “leaders” fought against raising your pay.
Instead, these extremist so-called “leaders” refuse to keep assault weapons off our streets and out of our classrooms and tried to silence your voice through your union.
And instead, these so-called “leaders” have tried to make you pawns of their political agenda.
Because while you work hard to inspire the dreams and ambitions of our next generation, they dare question your dedication, your motivation, and your value.
While you work hard — while you work hard to teach the principles of liberty and freedom in your classroom, these so-called “leaders” are taking freedoms away — : freedom away from women and the freedom to make decisions over their own bodies — ; freedom away from a kindergarten-to-third-grade teacher in Florida to love openly and with pride — ; and away from every American as they intentionally try to make it more difficult for folks to vote.
We are 126 days away from an election, and we all know what we need to do. And, you know, I also think — I’m speaking to a group of educators — I also think that these extremist so-called “leaders” need to attend a civics lesson.
I think — I actually think it would benefit us all if they sat in your classroom for a few days to remember how a democracy works —; to remember what freedoms stands for; and to remember what jobs they were elected to do.
During her address, the vice president also had a stunning moment of transparency about politics when she acknowledged that the NEA "shape[s] policies."
Despite such an acknowledgment, there was no mention of how it was the teachers' unions that made it difficult for students to return to the classrooms for in-person learning. There was also no mention during Harris' remarks about how the teachers' unions successfully lobbied the Biden administration when it came to its mask policies for schools.
The NEA has also been particularly involved in promoting and defending Critical Race Theory. NEA President Becky Pringle is also pushing for making public education "equitable," as she explained it was one of her "pressing" issues when speaking to The New York Times last December.