Speaking in the Rose Garden on Monday, an aviator-clad President Biden trotted out more of the same misleading claims Democrats have used for years in their attempts to demonize legal firearm ownership by law-abiding citizens. The speech, meant to announce new executive action to regulate so-called "ghost guns" (a conjured up term to make homemade guns sounds scarier), turned into a gaffe-filled exercise in misinformation.
Repeatedly referring to the ATF as "AFT" — a gaffe that apparently confused the federal agency with the teachers union — Biden also repeated several the left's favorite anti-gun buzzwords and tropes as an excuse to justify his executive action, but — like much of what Biden says — they're just not true.
1. "You couldn't buy a cannon..."
BIDEN: "You couldn't buy a cannon when the Second Amendment passed."— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) April 11, 2022
That's not true. pic.twitter.com/absJjj3eUP
This claim, while one frequently repeated by Biden, is not true. As Dana Loesch wrote in response to a previous attempt to pass this fib as truth, "There was no law whatsoever in any colony or from King George himself against private citizens owning cannons."
Washington used smaller artillery from colonists and tasked soldiers and privateers who nicked them from the British; privateers were authorized through Letters of Marque to challenge British ships with their own, armed with independently purchased artillery — cannons! They were volunteer organizations tasked with independently purchasing and maintaining their own artillery."
2. "Gun manufacturers have more immunity..."
BIDEN: "Gun manufacturers have more immunity from liability than any other American industry." pic.twitter.com/2Qkz50AL2W— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) April 11, 2022
There is some limited protection for firearm manufacturers... just as there are for several other industries. As Stephen Gutowski explained, "Gun manufacturers can be sued and sometimes are sued over claims of negligence."
Remington settled a lawsuit over an alleged design flaw with the trigger on its popular Model 700 rifle, and Sig Sauer has been sued multiple times over an alleged safety defect with its P320 handgun. The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which Biden hopes to repeal, provides immunity to the industry over lawsuits stemming from the criminal misuse of guns by third parties.
Even the limited immunity granted to the gun industry is not unique. Numerous other industries benefit from protections against lawsuits that do not implicate willful misconduct on the part of the company. Pharmaceutical companies developing COVID-19 vaccines have immunity from lawsuits over side-effects caused by the life-saving drugs under the 2005 Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act. The same immunity extends to employers who require vaccinations for employment, according to CNBC.
3. "I got it done once—ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines..."
BIDEN: "I know it's controversial but I got it done once—ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines!"— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) April 11, 2022
"What do you think the deer you're hunting wear Kevlar vests? What the hell ya need 20 bullets for? You must be a hell of a terrible shot. No, I'm serious. Think about it." pic.twitter.com/lZDZo4c7qP
Biden's claim here seems to be that his previous work to limit firearm ownership was a success, and that claim would be false. "The law that barred the sale of assault weapons from 1994 to 2004 made little difference," Lois Beckett reported for The New York Times years ago:
It turns out that big, scary military rifles don’t kill the vast majority of the 11,000 Americans murdered with guns each year. Little handguns do.
In 2012, only 322 people were murdered with any kind of rifle, F.B.I. data shows.
“Should it be renewed, the ban’s effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement,” a Department of Justice-funded evaluation concluded.
In conclusion, Biden's "ghost gun" event was more of the same from Democrats who lean on scare tactics and made up, scary terms to push their anti-2A agenda. As usual, their arguments against the Second Amendment are not based in fact, but in feelings and fear.
Democrat attempts to push their ghost gun fear-mongering in the past have have been rebutted by Republicans, including Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX). He pointed out in a Senate hearing on the topic that "ghost guns" are nothing more than homemade firearms that aren't any more dangerous than other firearms and are treated the same as any other firearm under the law:
Democrats are trying to distract from the failure of gun control policies in Democrat-run cities.— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) April 11, 2022
“Ghost gun” is a name intended to scare people. pic.twitter.com/4zg4tW0q2I