Biden’s State of the Union Offers More Useless Solutions to Gun Violence

President Joe Biden had a few words to say in his State of the Union address about how he intends to curb gun violence—definitely on the rise in the past couple of years—that meet the usual Democratic presidential standard of offering solutions that will largely harass the mostly innocent or do very little to save lives.

“I will continue doing all I can to crackdown on gun trafficking. Ghost guns that you can purchase online and make at your home, he said. They don’t have serial numbers, and cannot be tracked. But the technologies used in the manufacture of these guns, as well as old-fashioned wiping out existing numbers, cannot be controlled. California’s experience with such bans, implemented a few decades ago, has shown the futility thereof, except for making it harder to make guns that are not intended to harm.

Even theoretically traceable guns used by criminals are, in the majority of cases, stolen or not obtained legally, so police rarely have information on file about them that would allow them to be easily traced to a shooter.

He said, “I request Congress to pass proven methods to decrease gun violence.” Get universal background checks. Who should be permitted to purchase weapons if they are on the terrorist list? Many people find it sensible that every person who wishes to sell weapons must jump through all of the hoops required by a licensed gun dealer. The 2016 Survey of Prison Inmates revealed that 25 percent of firearms owned by prisoners were acquired from family members or friends. This would make it unlikely that gun dealers would have any effect.

Biden, speaking of marginal effects also stated that he wanted to “ban high-capacity magazines and assault weapons.” Biden ended the brief gun conversation by insisting that these laws didn’t violate the Second Amendment. A federal court ruling (since overturned), did provide convincing arguments for the Second Amendment’s violation of the ban on a commonly used item that is relevant to home defense, such as the “high capacity magazines”. If this issue were to be brought up before the Supreme Court, it is likely that they would agree.

All types of rifles, including “assault weapon” subcategories, which are mostly based on the cosmetic features that legislators and activists consider scary, are used to commit a small number of gun crimes. Previous attempts at banning new “assault arms” between 1994-2004 did not appear to have any effect on gun deaths. Biden should not expect massive civil disobedience and civil unrest to result from any attempt to remove them from innocent gun owners in America.

Biden also insisted he will “repeal the liability shield that makes gun manufacturers the only industry in America that can’t be sued”—a severe misstatement of the facts. He refers to the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act which makes it harder to sue gun manufacturers for damages not caused by their actual errors or negligence, but rather by the criminal acts of their customers. This fine principle of not being able hold individuals liable for anything other than their own fault is legal. Biden’s appeal to abolish it is a backdoor attempt to undermine the Second Amendment by forcing legal weapons sellers and producers out of business.

This is a proposal that is in keeping with his SOTU guns rhetoric. It will please his constituents. However, it’s based more on hostility to innocent private gun ownership and sales than any policy to reduce gun violence.