Likely Democratic presidential nominee and 12-gauge shotgun owner Joe Biden made headlines yesterday after he told a Michigan construction worker he’s “full of shit” in a heated interaction about the candidate’s stance on the Second Amendment.
Biden had been touring an auto plant under construction in Detroit when he was approached by a worker named Jerry Wayne, who accused the candidate of “actively trying to end the Second Amendment.”
“You’re full of shit,” Biden responded as one of his female aides tried to disengage him from the conversation.
But Biden shushed his aide and continued what would become a garbled, inarticulate, and often misleading defense of his stance on firearms.
Asked on Fox News whether he bought Biden’s arguments, Wayne wondered how the candidate could claim to be defending blue-collar jobs while attacking constitutional rights.
“I also asked him how he wanted to get the vote of the working man when a lot of us, we wield arms. We bear arms and we like to do that. And if he wants to give us work and take our guns, I don’t see how he is going to get the same vote,” Wayne said.
“He doesn’t need to touch anybody’s weapon at all. What we need to do is we need to concentrate on teaching people how to respect firearms and how to use them – not take them away,” he continued. “This is a right that we need to protect with our heart and soul. It’s not to be infringed.”
Biden adamantly denied saying that he wanted to take guns from American citizens, and his official campaign platform does not include a “mandatory buyback” policy for so-called “assault weapons.”
But Biden did vow to let radical anti-gun activist Robert “Beto” O’Rourke run his administration’s gun control agenda, and the former Texas Congressman famously said during a debate, “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.”
Wayne also referenced a viral interview with Anderson Cooper in which Biden said he wanted to confiscate guns from Americans. Biden supporters claim the candidate’s statements were taken out of context, but the full interview transcript suggests otherwise.
COOPER: So, to gun owners out there who say, well, a Biden administration means they’re going to come for my guns?
BIDEN: Bingo. You’re right if you have an assault weapon. The fact of the matter is, they should be illegal, period. Look, the Second Amendment doesn’t say you can’t restrict the kinds of weapons people can own. You can’t buy a bazooka. You can’t have a flame thrower.
Biden tried to walk back his statements later in the interview by acknowledging there’s “no legal way” to confiscate firearms that were legally purchased. However, in the same sentence, he reiterates his desire to “take them… out of the possession of people.”
BIDEN: Right now, there’s no legal way that I’m aware that you could deny them the right to have purchased (ph) — legally purchase them. But we can in fact make a major effort to take them off the street and out of the possession of people.
Biden made several additional gaffes during his statements in Detroit, and his arguments were often difficult to unravel.
He referred to “AR-14’s” at one point and couldn’t answer why he wanted to ban “assault weapons” but not handguns. He also asked Wayne repeatedly “Do you need 100 rounds?” but failed to clarify whether he meant “Do you need to own 100 rounds?” or “Do you need a magazine capable of holding 100 rounds?”
In one of his primary arguments, he asked Wayne about the legality of machine guns and said that AR-15s should be illegal in the same way. His point (apparently) was that since machineguns are rarely used in crime, a ban on “assault weapons” would render them similarly innocuous.
But machine guns aren’t illegal, and Biden’s platform wouldn’t make AR-15s illegal. It would require them to be registered with the NFA using the same process by which machines guns (made prior to 1986) can be purchased and owned.
In addition, rifles of any kind are rarely used in crime as it stands. Even though there are as many as 17 million “assault weapons” in the United States, rifles were only used in 2 percent of all homicides in 2018.
After Tuesday’s primaries, Biden has taken a commanding lead in the 2020 Democratic presidential race. He currently holds 860 of the 1,991 delegates he needs to win, and experts believe he has a clear path to the nomination.